So Long, My Son

Directed by Wang Xioashuai
2019
China
180 minutes
Unclassified 18+
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Winner of the Best Actor and Best Actress prizes in Berlin, this epic Chinese drama spans decades, tracing a group of friends through personal drama and major cultural change.

Yaojun (Wang Jingchun) and Liyun (Yong Mei) were once happy, but when their young son dies in a tragic accident, the couple never truly recovers. They adopt a son who struggles to adapt to his new circumstances and rebels against his anxious parents, culminating in him running away from home. A mainstay of Chinese independent filmmaking, Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, Shanghai Dreams) uses this story as the basis for a thorough examination of the effect of the political on the personal in China. The Cultural Revolution, China's One-Child Policy and eventual burgeoning wealth all play out as the backdrop to this immensely emotional story of loss, love and redemption and human upheaval in China.

The film’s greatest turn comes from Wang Jingchun as Yaojun. It’s in his ordinary goodness — not without its rages, deceptions and low-level alcoholism — that the film finds, then repeatedly breaks, your heart, before a subtly momentous finale which perhaps, after all the sorrow, is the happiest ending in recent memory: a reminder that for all that such decent people may ever lose in this life, so much will always remain.
Jessica Kiang, Variety
Wang’s considered, indirect approach makes for a drama that’s emotionally affecting but historically revealing too. It’s certainly a substantial, audacious and intensely inquiring piece.
Jonathan Romney, ScreenDaily

Tickets

Thu 13 June
8:35pm
State Theatre
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Fri 14 June
8:15pm
Event Cinemas George St 5
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Program Strand
Special Presentations
Original Title
Di jiu tian chang
Year
2019
Classification
Unclassified 18+
Country
China
Language
In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
Director
Wang Xioashuai
Producer
Liu Xuan
Cast
Wang Jingchun, Yong Mei, Wang Yuan
Screenwriter
A Mei, Wang Xiaoshuai
Cinematographer
Kim Hyun-seok
Editor
Lee Chatametikool
Premiere
Australian Premiere
Genre
Human Rights, Politics & Economics, Asia, Cinephile, Festival Award Winners
Company Credits
World Sales: The Match Factory
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