To Love Again

  • 92'
  • China
  • 2022

Wearing identical dresses, the same bouquets and deliriously happy, older couples stride out of a communal wedding. In Xian, China, getting remarried en masse is nothing unusual. It is also a celebration of what was previously impossible owing to socio-economic conditions. Now, however, elderly couple Li and Nie are facing up to death. In small ways and big: a dying female friend has her eye on a potential suitor for her husband; their fridge breaks down; the grave of Li’s deceased first wife has to be vacated. Guilt-ridden about her death, he gladly offers her a final resting place in the grave set aside for him and Nie. Maybe there will even be some space left, so Nie’s late husband can join them? The wounds of the political upheavals of the past cut deep in this film that started so hopefully.

Never sentimental, but realistic and beautifully framed, this debut captures the mentality of a generation who, scarred by their past, try to keep their families together at any cost. The scene in which their family members don’t turn up for a family portrait, so Li and Nie get to work with Photoshop, is a poignant example.

Gao Linyang wrote Striding Into the Wind (2020) and On the Border (2018), two films about marginalised people for whom the capricious capitalism of contemporary China is always a trap. Here too, in To Love Again, his first fiction feature, he turns in a convincing observation of two traumatised souls.

Director
Gao Linyang
Country of production
China
Production Year
2022
Festival Edition
P&I Selection 2022
Length
92'
Medium
DCP
Language
Chinese
Producers
Liang Jing, Guan Hu, Wang Donghui, Zhu Wenjiu, Justine O.
Production Company
The Seventh Art Pictures
Sales
The Seventh Art Pictures
Screenplay
Gao Linyang
Cinematography
Shen Junyi
Editor
Matthieu Laclau, Yang Hongyu, Tom Hsin-Ming Lin, Gao Linyang
Production Design
Shi Rongfeng
Sound Design
Zhao Suchen
Music
Wang Xiaomu
Cast
Li Xuejian, Song Xiaoying