The Summer Is Gone

Zhang Dalei

IFFR 2017

Bright Future

  • 108'
  • China
  • 2016

It’s the early 1990s and Xiaolei has just finished primary school. He is looking forward to the long, hot summer in the provincial town in northern China where he lives. As he daydreams, spies on the girl next door and visits the cinema, Chinese political reforms play out in the background: a lot of state companies are being privatised. This means that Xiaolei’s father, who works at a film studio, could lose his job. In the meantime, his mother wants her son to attend a prestigious secondary school.
In Zhang Dalei’s remarkably mature feature debut, these family dynamics are shot from an appropriate distance, largely in black-and-white. This results in a sense of nostalgia that does not romanticise China’s turbulent past but rather presents it in a highly effective visual way, as for instance towards the end of the film, when it starts to rain. Summer is over, the epiphyllum is in flower and the watermelons are ripe. China is embarking upon a new chapter.  

Director
Zhang Dalei
Country of production
China
Production Year
2016
Festival Edition
IFFR 2017
Length
108'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Ba yue
Language
Mandarin
Producer
Zhang Jian
Production Companies
Beijing Mailis Pictures, Beijing YoShow Film & TV Production Co. Ltd , Beijing Transcend Picture Co. Ltd
Sales
Deep Focus
Screenplay
Zhang Dalei
Cinematography
Lv Songye
Editor
Zhang Dalei
Production Design
Zhang Dalei, Lv Songye
Cast
Kong Weiyi, Zhang Chen, Guo Yanyun, Zhang Kun