Cinema is a lie, says the main character in this deceptive film, which was a hit at last year’s Cannes Festival. After watching the film, however, viewers are left with one thought: there’s no way to resist the charm of such lies. The mesmerizing Long Day’s Journey Into Night focuses on Luo Hongwu, a mysterious man returning to his hometown, after a lengthy absence, for his father’s funeral. An old photo hidden inside a clock evokes bitter memories of a beloved woman, who played a role in the death of his friend. Wandering the neon-lit streets of Kaili, Luo tries to find his former flame and to explore his past at the same time. The director—not yet 30 years old—has created a one-of-a-kind cinematic labyrinth and makes the puzzle even more confusing by offering up a number of red herrings. First, however, Bi Gan, much like a prestidigitator, dulls the audience’s senses. Long Day’s Journey Into Night starts out like a classic film noirwith moody cinematography and a mysterious, disheartened protagonist. However, the chronology and predicability of the story quickly go off the rails. Luo surrenders to a wave of memories, blends the past with dreams and the present, multiplying the number of new unknowns. The protagonist escapes from the trap of memory into the screening room, where we see a nearly one-hour-long dreamlike sequence in 3D shot in a single take.
Born in 1989, Bi Gan is a director, screenwriter, poet and photographer. He is from the city of Kaili in the south of China, which plays an important role in his films. He is a fan of the work of Andrei Tarkovsky. He made his first full-length film in 2015 with Kaili Blues. The asynchronous, dreamlike journey of a Chinese doctor in search of his own past and family secrets met with critical acclaim and was an award winner at the Locarno International Film Festival (for best debut) and in Nantes. His second film, Long Day's Journey Into Night, was a hit at the Cannes International Film Festival.
2010 South (short)
2012 Jingang Jing (short)
2015 Lu bian ye can / Kaili Blues
2016 Mi mi jin yu
2018 Długa podróż dnia ku nocy / Di qiu zui hou de ye wan / Long Day’s Journey Into Night