THE RIVER OF LIFE (SHENGMING DE HELIU)
Directed by Yang Pingdao, 2014, 101 min, digital. In Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles.
Yang Pingdao is one of China’s most exciting emerging filmmakers. His astonishingly creative camera eye brings unexpected beauty to his new feature length film. Using an innovative structure, based on the distinctive texture of family memory through space and time, Yang invents something poised delicately between fiction and documentary to capture crystallized moments in his family history, to recreate in cinematic form its emotional weight and variety, woven around the life and death of his grandmother, and the birth of his child. In order to combine extended family chronicle, implicit national history, and intimate soul-bearing autobiography, Yang employs gentle formal experimentation to invent new cinematic pathways.
“Sometimes I shoot films just so I can hear my inner voice. But in China doing this may not be “permitted”. Therefore, many artists will censor themselves. It’s a question of making a choice. I absolutely need Chinese audiences to see my films, because I shoot stories that this land itself gives rise to.” Yang Pingdao
About Cinema On The Edge
A film series unlike any other, “Cinema on the Edge: Best of Beijing Independent Film 2012-2014” celebrates the daring spirit and creative innovation of independent filmmakers and festival organizers in mainland China.
This film series features 18 programs of outstanding recent Chinese independent cinema, showcasing the work of such acclaimed filmmakers as Ai Weiwei, Li Luo, Hu Jie, Zou Xueping and Yang Mingming. The series is organized and curated by three of Chinese independent cinema’s most committed supporters: producer and distributor Karin Chien, critic and curator Shelly Kraicer, and filmmaker and anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki. Seven of NYC’s most revered film and cultural institutions will present these works: Anthology Film Archives, Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Asia Society, Maysles Cinematheque, Museum of Chinese in America, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and UnionDocs.