Hong Kong / 2022 / 112 min.
The first few days of the worldwide lockdown due to COVID-19. Several groups of guests are trapped in a Chiang Mai hotel. Sova, a Beijing resident about to turn 20, is bored out of her mind, having planned to spend her birthday with her mother at the hotel but unable to leave the property. She starts a conversation with a middle-aged man from Wuhan and a young Thai man who takes care of a deaf-mute Chinese man at the courtyard pool… The hotel where the film takes place is where director WANG Xiaoshuai himself, along with producer ZHANG Yuan and screenwriter NING Dai, have spent Chinese New Year in 2020. In a claustrophobic space, a woman causes small ripples among the characters. The ripples gradually grow out of control, emotions become entangled, and long-kept secrets come to the surface, captured in a simple yet meticulously designed script, cinematography, and editing. World premiered in the Contemporary World Cinema section at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
WANG XIAOSHUAI is one of pioneers of Chinese independent film, the winner of French Culture and Art Knight Medal, internationally renowned Chinese film director. During this twenty years of filming, Wang has directed 14 films. His works span different eras, yet consistently reflect a strong social conscience. With a strong personal style and humanistic care, the spirit of perseverance and independent creation, Wang Xiaoshuai’s films were shortlisted at the three major international film festivals eight times and nominated for the main competition unit six times. BEIJING BICYCLE (2001) won the Grand Jury Silver Bear in Competition at the Berlinale, IN LOVE WE TRUST (2008) won the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Screenplay, and the Grand Jury Prize for SHANGHAI DREAMS (2005) in the Cannes Main Competition. RED AMNESIA (2014) was selected in competition for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, and the latest title SO LONG, MY SON (2019) won two Silver Bears for the Best Actor and Actress at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, later the film was awarded three Golden Roosters for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. His debut feature THE DAYS (1993) was selected as “one of the best 100 films of all time” by the BBC in 1995, and collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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