In May 2019, a large number of prominent Chinese writers and scholars gathered in a village in China’s Shanxi Province —which happens to be Jia Zhangke’s native province. Images from this literary event open an 18-chapter ‘symphony’ which spans the history of Chinese society since 1949. The story is told through memories of the late writer-activist Ma Feng and the testimonies of three major writers who are active today: Jia Pingwa (born in the 1950s), Yu Hua (born in the 1960s) and Liang Hong (born in the 1970s). These writers recount their own lives and literary careers, which allows the film to weave a 70-year spiritual history of the Chinese people.
Presented at Berlin International Film Festival.
Jia Zhangke, Wan Jiahuan
Xstream Pictures, Huaxia Film Distribution Co.
Born in Fenyang, Shanxi province, in China, in 1970. One of the most important filmmaker today, he made, among others, the features Platform (2000), The World (2004), awarded with the Critics Prize at the 29th Mostra, Still Life (2006), winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, 24 City (2008), A Touch of Sin (2013) and Ash Is Purest White (2018), all presented at Mostra. During the 31st Mostra, in 2007, the filmmaker came to São Paulo to present a retrospective of his work, and at the 38th Mostra, he was honored with the Leon Cakoff Prize. In 2020, in the 44th Mostra, Jia Zhangke signs the art of the edition’s poster and also shows the short Visit (2020) and the feature film Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (2020).