Young dancer Qiao falls for powerful mob boss Bin. After protecting him during a rival gang’s ambush, she ends up in prison. Upon release, some five years later, she seeks out Bin to restart their old life. But is that still possible? Their violent relationship develops from 2001 to 2017, which allows director Jia Zhangke to chronicle contemporary China – from mining ghost towns to entire villages sacrificed for new dams.
Maestro Jia Zhangke’s latest film was inspired by scenes cut from his previous works Unknown Pleasures (2002) and Still Life (2006). Those films also featured Jia's muse and wife Zhao Tao in the lead and, in the director’s mind, the two roles she played in those films melded into one. Ash Is Purest White completes her story.
Also see Masterclass Jia Zhangke.