Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue

(Yi zhi you dao hai shui bian lan)

In Conversation

  • Award-winning documentary filmmaker Carma Hinton grew up in Beijing and has codirected thirteen documentary films on China. 

  • Andrew F. Jones teaches modern Chinese literature and media culture at UC Berkeley.

Proof of Vaccination Required

Ticket holders are required to provide proof of vaccination—to the maximum extent for which they are eligible—for entry into the Barbro Osher Theater.

Jia returns to the documentary form after his recent run of fiction films (A Touch of Sin, Ash Is Purest White) in this look at modern Chinese history, as seen through the experiences of three of its greatest living writers. A literary festival held in Jia’s native Shanxi Province provides the backdrop as writers Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua, and Liang Hong recount their childhoods, early careers, and inspirations. Their stories move from the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution to the consumerist rush of the twenty-first century, and illuminate an often overlooked aspect of Chinese life: the connection between intellectual thought and working-class labor. “Our starting point was to film at the festival, and we soon realized that we were experiencing not only a journey in contemporary Chinese literature, but also a journey into the spiritual history of the Chinese people,” Jia noted. “Their journeys are very similar, but each footprint deserves to be remembered.”

Jason Sanders
  • Jia Zhangke
  • Wan Jiahuan
  • Yu Lik-wai
  • Mandarin
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 112 mins
  • Cinema Guild