China | 2013 | 94 min
Language : Chinese
Subtitles : English, French
A stark observational film about a rural family that has to struggle in order to keep their right to continue farming while the living conditions get worse and worse. With this film made of 26 static long takes, director Ye Zuyi asks the viewer to experience a different time frame in which the painstaking precision of the environment mirrors the complex realities of rural China.
In this precise and rigorously stylized film, director Ye Zuyi points his camera towards his own family. An ordinary family, a rural one that lives in a Village in the Guangdong Province, China. In 26 static long takes, the director explores in excruciatingly precise detail the everyday burdens of a simple life. Boldly challenging his own observational device, Ye Zuyi reenacts parts of his life. In this daring balance of extreme realism and almost unperceivable fiction, Ye Zuyi weaves a fascinating mosaic. The presence of the play back device is never hidden but completely absorbed in a complex balance where time becomes the central element of the viewer’s experience. “After my family abandoned farming the hillside fields, we only had half an acre of land left. Someone wanted to buy this field to build a house, but my mother refused”, recalls Ye Zuyi. “After my graduation from college, I did not want to get a job in the city like other people do. Instead, I went back to my village to interview old people. One day, my father fell from the second floor of a house he was building. He injured his arm and waist badly...”.
Giona A. Nazzaro