SO LONG, MY SON
In this sprawling yet intimate epic from director Wang Xiaoshuai, the paths of two families affected by China’s one-child family policy intersect over three decades.
Director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle) explores the far-reaching consequences of China’s oppressive one-child family policy through the story of a small group of friends whose lives take very different paths in the wake of a heartbreaking tragedy. In the present day, aging couple Yaojun (Liu Yaojun) and Liyun (Yong Mei) lead a modest, somewhat isolated existence in a Southern province where they don’t even speak the local dialect. But Yaojun and Liyun haven’t always been so reclusive; back in the early ’80s, they lived, worked, and started a family alongside another married couple: Yingming (Xu Cheng) and Haiyan (Ai Liya). When the two couples reunite years later after a long estrangement, they have decades worth of loss, betrayal, guilt, and buried secrets between them. Wang ingeniously shuffles the chronology of the characters’ lives, creating a patchwork of events that gradually cohere into a stunningly resonant whole in the film’s emotionally overwhelming climax. By devoting such ardent attention to these humble but emotionally nuanced characters, Wang highlights the way that broad social change shapes the lives of individual people.
CAST: WANG JINGCHUN, YONG MEI, QI XI, WANG YUAN
In Competition: Narrative Feature Award
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