Ash Is Purest White

Featured image for “Ash Is Purest White”
Shown: January 13, 2019 at 6pm

Director : Jia Zhangke

Country : China

Release Date : 2018

Duration : 136 mins

Language : Mandarin

Subtitles : Yes

Initially set in the Jianghu criminal underworld, the film is less a gangster movie than a melodrama. With a three-part structure, it begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Zhao Tao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Liao Fan) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 post-industrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives, and continues Jia Zhangke’s body of work as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations. It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Despite the volcanic metaphor of the film’s title, it’s a tale characterised not by violent release, but by a steady – and ultimately compassionate – spirit of resolve …”  (Pat Padua – Washington Post)