Cheng Shuqiong, Wang Xiaoping, Ge Wendan, Xia Guoli,
Li’s first feature film, winner of the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at the Göteborg Film Festival, is set in Chongqing province, China, where she was born. Based on her own childhood, the film depicts seven days of life, and death, in the remote rural village, as remembered by twelve-year-old Xiaoxian. Li pays close attention to the rhythms of country life—the walk to school, homework, chores, and family dinners—amidst the beautiful but unforgiving landscape. Drama is downplayed, alluded to obliquely, or shown from a distance, but the strength of family bonds despite time and tragedy are communicated all the better for Li’s restraint.