Wen Jiang

Wen Jiang – Guizi lai le AKA Devils on the Doorstep (2000)

Stephen Holden in the New York Times wrote:
[The film] belongs to that rarefied breed of antiwar movie that adopts a lofty satirical distance from its characters’ plight. By turns farcical and horrifying, it scrupulously avoids plucking heartstrings to portray the soldiers and peasants alike as paranoid fools buffeted by the shifting winds of war…While acknowledging that war is hell, it goes further to suggest it is ludicrous. Read More »

Wen Jiang – Yang guang can lan de ri zi AKA In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

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Quote:
Beijing, the Seventies. Now that the Cultural Revolution has driven most adults to the provinces, 14-year old Monkey and his pals have free reign over the city. They hang around, get up to no good and discover that unsolvable mystery more commonly referred to as ‘girls’.

In the Heat of the Sun is a beautifully shot semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story where the ostensible nostalgia is undercut by an ironic narrator, who keeps blurring the line between what’s real and what may be imagined (“Wait, maybe it didn’t happen that way,…”). It’s a movie not just about memories, but also about the act of remembering and on how difficult that is, in a city which constantly re-builds itself from the ground up, in a country which constantly rewrites its own history. Read More »