Liu Jian’s gorgeous 2023 Berlinale-selected animation is a slacker comedy-drama about a group of art students in China in the ’90s – a time of great change for the nation.
Liu Jian’s gorgeous animation is a slacker comedy-drama about a group of art students in China in the ’90s – a time of great change for the nation that is instrumental to their futures. On the campus of the Chinese Southern Academy of Arts, the students – Xiaojun, Rabbit, Lili, Hong and others – learn, create, argue, fall in love, smoke too many cigarettes and contemplate what will come. As China undergoes an extreme change – moving to a market-driven economy and greater engagement with the outside world – the art world too grapples with whether to maintain traditional methods or further pursue a modern mode of artistic creation. This seismic societal shift is a matter of preoccupation for the students and has a great influence on not only their artistic direction but their future lives. With his follow-up to Have a Nice Day
, featuring an incredible voice cast including the filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Bi Gan, along with Dong Zijian, Zhou Dongyu and Ren Ke, Liu has created an incredibly detailed and immensely rewarding snapshot of a crucial juncture in recent Chinese history.LIU JIAN
graduated with a degree in Chinese painting in 1993 and has been working in animation since 1995. His feature debut, Piercing 1
, won the 2010 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film and Have a Nice Day
(2017) premiered at the Berlinale.