Zhang Miaoyan at IFFR
Not everything is progress in China. Less and less rain means that the inhabitants of Inner Mongolia have to do everything to survive. For instance, sell their own blood. And in order to sell enough blood, you have to drink. A drama of fate shot in impressively expressive black-and-white.
A Corner of Heaven
With elegant camera movements in apt black-and-white, cameraman/writer/director Zhang enchants the viewer: a gripping phantasmagoria of modern slavery, opium pushers and youth gangs in an apocalyptic China, where a poor kid from the countryside goes looking for his mother.
When describing a film by Zhang Miaoyan, you can’t avoid using terms like ‘hypnotic tracking shots’. Lurking in all corners behind the beauty of a quiet, misty canal town in a Chinese delta, however, is a menacing reality: (male) sexual violence and corruption. A dreamy poem becomes a wordless indictment.