One of our favorite Chinese directors just released a new film, and by all indications, it’s excellent. Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin, starring his wife Zhao Tao, is a Palme d’Or contender at Cannes, where it premiered on Thursday. The 133-minute film has alternatively been described as “a corrosive depiction of Chinese society” (LA Times) and “a scathing portrait of China’s economic boom” (Globe and Mail).
The Chinese, unsurprisingly, have been abuzz about it as well. According to Hollywood Reporter:
One Weibo user described the film as seeming “very audacious,” adding: “Judging from the trailer, it contains a lot of critical scenes based in reality that were created with no fear of the censorship system.”
The film description:
The film follows four separate people navigating their lives across four Chinese provinces. An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders. A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer. A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her. A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life. Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.
There’s no chance we’re missing this one.