Somewhere in the age-old landscape around the Yellow River, the camera records two children herding goats. We just catch their mother leaving the house and the way their elderly father, opium pipe in hand, screams impotently at them as he points out their duties. With beautifully flowing movements, the camera stays with the little boy (who like the rest of the cast has no professional experience) as he goes looking for his mother in an epic, lonely, hellish journey through contemporary China. Evoking memories of the fate of young heroes from nineteenth-century novels, he is set to work in the city as a slave in a primitive brick factory. Once he manages to escape, he joins a youth gang. The use of lyrical black & white images of stunning landscapes filled with apocalyptic smoke, mud and filth evokes memories of the work of Alexei Y. German. Zhang combines this with deep sympathy for the desperate, poor Chinese; uprooted from their communities, facing pollution and other consequences of progress. With Brave Talk on Wed 28-1 in the theatre of LantarenVenster.