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Tuesday, 26. 02. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

Ash Is Purest White Jiang hu er nv

Jia Zhang-ke / China, France / 2018 / 141 min / Chinese


Tuesday, 26. 02. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

A portrayal of present-day China flavoured with elements of gangster movie, Ash Is Purest White by Jia Zhang-ke stars Zhao Tao, the director’s indispensable muse and spouse.


Qiao is in love with Bin, a local mobster. While everyone else is busy sucking up to Bin, Qiao is a woman who refuses to be intimidated by the macho environment. When Bin is targeted by a group of young thugs on motorcycles, Qiao saves him from being beaten to death by firing some warning shots. Her refusal to incriminate her boyfriend as the illegal weapon's owner gets her a five-year prison sentence. Upon her release, she goes looking for Bin to pick up where they left off.

"In my imagination, this woman was born and raised in my hometown, a coal-mining region in north-west China. She was named Qiaoqiao (“Qiao” for short) and fell in love with a jianghu type. Their love and torment would open the story. By 2006, they are both middle-aged and the man leaves for the Three Gorges area. She follows him there, but their relationship is broken. Everything that would happen from then on gave free rein to my imagination." (Jia Zhang-ke)

Jia Zhang-ke
Born in 1970, in Fenyang, in the Chinese province of Shanxi. Graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, he made with his first feature film, The Pickpocket, in 1998. Several critically acclaimed full-length films followed; Still Life received the 2006 Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He is considered to be a central figure of the so-called ‘Sixth Generation’ of Chinese directors. 

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