Shanghai International Film Festival 2020 Pingyao International Film Festival 2020 Cairo International Film Festival 2020 Udine Far East FIlm Festival 2021
Li Xiaofeng, Yu Xin
Zhang Yu, Jia Song, Wang Yanhui
Song has returned home after 15 years. He was once the best student, his whole life radiantly ahead of him. A golden opportunity was denied him by his headmaster, going instead to his best friend. In a fit of rage, he accidentally killed a man and departed town. Life continued and the incident remained unsolved. Song’s guilt and remorse traveled with him, so he remained low under the radar. His brief return is further complicated when he becomes romantically entangled with an old classmate. Meanwhile, his best friend, now a successful yet shady real-estate developer, and a witness to the murder a decade and half ago, is ready to upset the status quo.
A truly refreshing film noir that grips the viewer as the story unfolds at a slow yet highly effective burn, from beginning to the shocking end. An Asian film-festival favourite, director Li Xiaofeng, with his third film, truly elevates the genre with a superior script, characters with tragic undertones, and sharp reflections on corruption, greed and how China’s modernization can transform an innocent family. Director of photography Piao Songri truly captures the haunting visual beauty of the rain and darkness falling upon the small town, underscoring the melancholy that’s brewing, ready to explode. Featuring a dynamic cast of rising talent familiar to Fantasia audiences, including scene stealing Song Jia (John Woo’s RED CLIFF, FINAL MASTER), who brings perfect blend of humour, charm and sadness to her performance. – King-Wei Chu