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.
IndieLisboa IFF 2016 - Grand Prize City of Lisbon
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.
2015 Rodzina / Jia / The Family