Mountains May Depart

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China | 2015 | 131 minutes | Jia Zhangke

Masterful Chinese director Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin) returns with a decades-spanning drama about a young woman who marries for money, a parable of China's embrace of materialism and the ways it has affected the bonds of family and tradition.

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From the first, Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin, Platform) has taken the long view. Before any other filmmaker, he appreciated that China's shift to become the industrial powerhouse of the 21st century demanded the kind of epic and muscular artistic scrutiny Zola and Dickens lavished on earlier epochs. In this, his eighth feature, Jia takes the pulse of the times at three intervals: at the turn of the millennium, in 2014, and in 2025. In 1999, Shen Tao (Jia's regular muse, Tao Zhao) is courted by both the easygoing Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong) and Zhang (Zhang Yi), an ambitious entrepreneur. Tao seems perfectly content with the status quo, but her admirers fall out, and, pressured to choose, Tao agrees to marry Zhang. The repercussions of this choice—which also represents China's embrace of capitalism—resonate through the years and play out dramatically in the displacement of her only son, Dollar. Far-reaching and very moving, Mountains May Depart should be seen as another chapter in one of the most important bodies of work in today's cinema.

Director Biography
Jia Zhangke is a Chinese director best known for his films about the troubles of modernizing China under state capitalism, including Platform (SIFF 2005), The World (2004), and Still Life (2006).

Sponsored by China Stars, WASA North America Group, Hainan Airlines

  • Original Language Title: Shan He Gu Ren
  • Director: Jia Zhangke
  • Principal Cast: Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Liang Jin Dong, Dong Zijian, Sylvia Chang
  • Country: China, Japan, France
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 131 minutes
  • Producer: Ren Zhonglun, Jia Zhangke, Nathanael Karmitz, Liu Shiyu, Shozo Ichiyama
  • Screenplay: Jia Zhangke
  • Cinematographers: Yu Lik-Wai
  • Editors: Matthieu Laclau
  • Music: Yoshihiro Hanno
  • Awards: San Sebastian International Film Festival 2015 (Audience Award, Best Film), Golden Horse Film Festival 2015 (Audience Award, Best Picture), Asian Film Awards 2015 (Best Screenplay)
  • Filmography: A Touch of Sin (2013); I Wish I Knew (doc, 2010); 24 City (2008); Useless (doc, 2007); Still Life (2006); Dong (doc, 2006); The World (2004); Unknown Pleasures (2002); In Public (doc, 2001); Platform (2000); Xiao Wu (1998)
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Kino Lorber
  • International Sales: MK2