Previously at the ICA - Films

Chongqing Blues

15 Oct 2010

Lin Quanhai (played by Wang Xueqi, the soldier in Yellow Earth) comes to Chongqing – Chungking as was – to find out why his only son was shot dead by the police in a hostage-taking siege. Lin has been away at sea and was effectively estranged from his son, and so his quest for answers is tough. Both his ex-wife and the police refuse to speak to him, and the son’s friends and associates are wary and unhelpful. But Lin’s dogged persistence gradually uncovers at least part of the truth. Wu Di’s camera follows him down alleys, up staircases, along corridors, turning the city into a Borgesian labyrinth; anyone who senses that Lin’s quest stands for something larger than an explanation for one not-very-significant crime is barking up the right tree. In discovering how little he knew his own son, Lin is forced to confront his own past mistakes and the widening gap between his generation and his son’s. As in Beijing Bicycle and Shanghai Dreams, Wang Xiaoshuai builds his drama on a pattern of failed relationships, moral cross-purposes and sexual misunderstandings. The resulting emotional complexities are more than satisfying.

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