PRODS Zhu Shengze, Yang Zhengfan
SCR/ED Yang Zhengfan
CAM/PROD DES Zhu Shengze
PROD CO Burn the Film Production House
In just 13 fixed shots without any dialogue, young Chinese director Yang Zhengfan creates a series of striking scenes set in southern China. Each one hints at a micro-story, some humorous, some tragic, others rich with symbolic meaning. Surrender to the film’s measured pace and prepare to be enthralled.
A nervous man at a bus stop hops on a bus, leaving his bags behind. Government officials condemn a farmer’s home to be torn down. A cellphone rings unanswered from the garbage bin of a park. A shuttlecock pops up over the wall of a construction site. An old man shuffles by posters of Scarlett Johansson; later he collapses, ignored, on the street. A young girl releases goldfish into a swimming pool. Massive nets emerge from and sink back into the ocean… As each formally beautiful scene unfolds, they gradually condense into a unique cinematic experience that’s both tangible and meaningful.
“Distant is a film that transcends culture, nationality and gender. Each section tells a story about distance between different time and space, focusing on subtle moments when people are suddenly confronted by modernity and then are gradually lost in transition. Without any word, simply the image, sound and the actions of characters that paint dramatic, realistic or mysterious scenes. It abstractly describes today’s human condition—its alienation, abandonment and eternal loneliness.”—Yang Zhengfan
— Shelly Kraicer