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The Family

Liu Shumin
Jia
China, Australia 2015 / 280’

An elderly couple in a small town in China play host to their eldest daughter, Liquin, a single mother raising a teenage son. Liquin wants to move out, but she does not have the money she needs to finish her new house. Wanting to maintain family ties and arrange help for their daughter, the elderly couple embark on a journey to visit their two younger children living in remote parts of the country. Their trip, which is reminiscent of the parents who go for a hike in Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story, takes on a symbolic, almost metaphysical nature. Liu Shumin shows his characters in the most mundane aspects of everyday life. Cooking, cleaning, walks around town, family card games, minor squabbles, and attempts at more serious conversations are all captured in the harsh realism of long, static shots. This is an excellent example of so-called slow cinema in which the drama stems from the contemplation of time and duration-contemplation that is crowned by a gut-wrenching finale.

Karolina Kosińska

awards

IndieLisboa IFF 2016 - Grand Prize City of Lisbon

Liu Shumin

Born in China in 1974, Liu Shumin has been living in Australia since 2002. He studied Physics at Tongji University in Shanghai and then filmmaking at the Film Academy in Beijing. Before making his debut film, The Family, he worked as a cinematographer.

Filmography

2015 Rodzina / Jia / The Family  

Cast & Crew

director Liu Shumin
screenplay Liu Shumin
cinematography Liu Shumin
editing Liu Shumin
cast Deng Shoufang, Liu Lijie, Liu Xiaomin, Jiang Jiangsheng, Chen Erya, Liqin Huang, Liao Zepeng, Liu Xujun
producer Shen Lijang
production Secular Films
sales Shen Lijang, Secular Films
language Mandarin
colouration colour