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Up the Mountain

Directed by Zhang Yang
2018
China
126 minutes
All Ages
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Individual tickets for this film go on sale 8 May
Exquisitely framed like the paintings it features, this meditative work about an artist, his community and mountain village in China, documents a fast-disappearing way of life.

Master painter and teacher Shen Jianhua moved from Shanghai to a mountaintop Yunnan village years ago. He offers drawing lessons to numerous guests, including elderly village ladies who produce colourful folk canvases. The women are delightful, chattering as they paint and cook, revealing much about their calm approach to the ups and downs – the very rhythms – of life. One of Shen’s pupils is less serene: newly married, he’s torn between staying and leaving for the big city. His story exemplifies the clash between modernity and tradition in today’s China. Using an aspect ratio similar to a painting, director Zhang Yang (Festival favourite Shower, SFF 1999) has crafted an exquisite, unhurried portrait of a community and the joy of creating.

This lyrical documentary from Zhang Yang is a meditation on beauty. But like the film’s enigmatic central character, artist and teacher Shen Jianhua, Zhang’s lens finds beauty in simplicity.
Wendy Ide, Screen International
Using multiple cameras and precisely framed shots, this portrait is idyllic without idealizing. It sets aside judgements and politics, in order to tell a candid story of community and warmth; one that invokes both inspiration and a real sense of possibility.
Bianca-Olivia Nita, Modern Times Review

Tickets

Tickets go on sale 8 May
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Original Title
Huo Shan
Year
2018
Classification
All Ages
Country
China
Language
In Mandarin with English subtitles
Director
Zhang Yang
Producer
Zhang Yang, Youzheng Cheng
Screenwriter
Zhang Yang
Cinematographer
Guo Daming
Editor
Wei Le, Zhang Yang
Program Strand
First Films Announced
Company Credits
World Sales: Fortissimo Films
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