Capital Celluloid 2024 — Day 205: Fri Jul 26

This Garden Cinema presentation will be introduced by Chris Berry of King's College London and is part of a rare selection of masterpieces from Fifth Generation filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s early career, many of which have long been unavailable to screen in Europe. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Zhang and his constant muse Gong Li reinvent themselves (and Chinese social-realist cinema in the process) with this docu-drama about a peasant woman's dogged fight for what she thinks is justice. Qiu Ju is furious when the chief of her village refuses to apologise for kicking her husband in the balls during a fight, and takes the matter to court to demand compensation; the film charts her stubborn climb up the legal hierarchy. The plot seems expressly designed to placate the bureaucrats who banned Zhang's two previous films in China, but the quasi-documentary approach (involving scores of non-professional actors, hidden cameras and radio mikes) is brilliantly finessed.

Tony Rayns

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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