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Another Year

Shengze Zhu
China 2016 / 181’
Dead Slow Ahead

This is not a film about people eating, says Shengze Zhu, who may be compared to James Benning in her uncompromising observation of the world. It is a film about space encroaching from all sides and time leaving its mark. In 13 static takes, the director shows three generations of a migrant family of villagers attempting to eke out a life in Wuhan, one of central China's largest cities. Their relationships, discussions, and experiences distill the current condition of the Chinese, the brutality of modern capitalism, and the complex specificity of the Middle Country. In addition to the intimacy afforded by the situation as arranged by Shengze Zhu, this superficially raw film is filled with pure poetry. The cold light of fluorescent lamps extracts the absurd nature of a garland of plastic bags hanging on a cracked dirty wall that serve as a closet. The shots in the family home are reminiscent of paintings by Renaissance masters. Unaware of this beauty and mystery, the people become mere elements of the composition as they submit to the passage of time.

Agnieszka Szeffel

awards

Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) 2016 - Grand Prize; Olhar de Cinema - Curitiba IFF 2016 - Critics' Award; Nyon Visions du Réel 2016 - Grand Prix

Shengze Zhu

Shengze Zhu was born in 1987, China (Wuhan, Hubei). She completed an M.A. in photojournalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, U.S. and initially worked as a photographer. She co-founded Burn The Film Production House in 2010. She has produced and been cinematographer for several films, including Zhengfan Yang's Distant. Out Of Focus, which world premiered at Cinéma du Réel in 2014, is her first feature documentary and her directorial debut. 

Filmography

2014 Xu jiao

2016 Kolejny rok / Another Year

Cast & Crew

director Shengze Zhu
screenplay Shengze Zhu
cinematography Zhengfan Yang
editing Shengze Zhu
sound Dejian Ou
producer Zhengfan Yang, Shengze Zhu
production Burn the Film Production House
sales Shengze Zhu
language Mandarin
colouration colour