Béla Tarr about Hu Bo, director of "An Elephant Sitting Still"

An Elephant Sitting Stil, dir. Hu Bo
American Film Festival 2020: from Sundance, through Berlin, to Wroclaw

Dear Friends,
I'm deeply sorry I couldn't be at this screening with you and my "student", my friend, my nearest and dearest. 
I'm writing this message from the same hotel where I met him...
Hundreds of Chinese filmmakers applied to work with me, but when I met him, I knew this was it.
Without any doubt!
He was full of dignity and amazing to work with.
His eyes showed an uncommonly strong personality.
Anyway, I don't want to talk about my feelings.
I just wanted to tell you that I met a person with a broad vision of the world. During our last meeting in Wuhan he showed me his cast and locations and gave me his book.
He wrote a dedication: "to my godfather".
I feel guilty I couldn't protect him properly. It's a shame.
But how can one protect a person constantly surrounded by a storm?
He wrote books, scripts, plays…

Without end...
While working, however, he was very sensible and kind.
He listened to everybody and paid attention to detail.
He was constantly in a rush.
Maybe he knew he didn't have much time.
He burned his candle at both ends.
He wanted to have everything right now.
He couldn't accept the world and the world couldn't accept him.
Though we lost him, his movies will be with us forever.
Please welcome Hu Bo's film and love him like I do,

Béla Tarr
Xining, China

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