Ash Is Purest White

Showed at Images 5/17/2019–5/23/2019

Starring: Zhao Tao, Liao Fan

No country in the world can claim such recent, radical growth than modern day China and no director has been able to dramatically capture and critique such robust development than master filmmaker and Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin).

In his latest Cannes competition selection, he once again collaborates with actress Zhao Tao as Qiao, a femme fatale who invokes Barbara Stanwyck. When her small-time gangster boyfriend is attacked by a rival gang, Qiao uses an unlicensed firearm to defend him, and finds herself in jail. Upon her release five years later, the drained Qiao is disturbed to find no trace of Bin and a China that has moved on. Lost in her own country, Qiao begins her quest to discover what has happened to her love, and to her own identity in the crime underground where the rules have changed. Zhangke creates sprawling, visceral epics, holding a mirror to his beloved country that has forgotten its people in following a thirst for power.

  • Director: Jia Zhangke
  • Runtime: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Despite its elegiac tone and stark social realism, its loose three-act structure and leisurely narrative flow, “Ash Is Purest White” has some of the grit, energy and emotional generosity of a 1940s Hollywood melodrama. You are pulled in almost immediately by the beauty of the characterizations, the specificity of the milieu and the depth of feeling that courses beneath every exchange.”

– Los Angeles Times