Rivers and My Father
Li Wen at East Lake
Winner of the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at the Göteborg Film Festival, Mama depicts seven days of life, and death, in a remote rural village in Chongqing province, as remembered by twelve-year-old Xiaoxian.
Li’s fascinating documentary/fiction hybrid tours the disappearing shoreline and dwindling waters of the rapidly changing landscape around East Lake in China’s Hubei province in this smart, subtle, and often comic look at contemporary China and its complex relationship to the past.
Chinese Canadian filmmaker Li depicts family history with understated reenactments that shift in and out of sync with the stories being told, suggesting the challenges of intergenerational communication and distance with tenderness and humor.
An elegiac corollary to the fiery documentaries that captured Hong Kong’s recent protest movement and ensuing crackdown, Blue Island grapples honestly with the fact that, despite valiant efforts, Hong Kong as we once knew it is no more.