VAF Kinepolis ING
World soundtrack awardsWSA
Ash is Purest White
Archived: Ash is Purest White - Jiang hu er nv (2018)

director: Jia Zhangke

composer: Lim Giong
With: Zhao Tao, Liao Fan, a.o.

duration: 150 minutes
Crime, Drama

Official Selection - In Competition

Qiao is in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs, she fires a gun to protect him. Qiao gets five years in prison for this act of loyalty. Upon her release, she goes looking for Bin to pick up where they left off. A story of love, betrayal and loyalty set in China's underworld.

"It speaks to the richness of Jia Zhangke's oeuvre that 'Ash Is Purest White' already feels like a career summation, even though the Chinese director has yet to turn 50. Transition has always been at the heart of Jia's work, but this, his twelfth feature-length film, explores the theme across three carefully intertwined levels, gently tracing out the progress of a relationship, a country, and his own development as a filmmaker to arrive at what feels like a definitive statement on each of them: nothing changes, nothing stays the same." (Cinema Scope)

"'Ash is Purest White', Chinese auteur Jia's most serious foray into the gangster genre since 'A Touch of Sin,' is a winding tale of love, disillusionment and survival that again represents his vision of his country's spiritual trajectory. More expository and down-to-earth than usual, Jia delves deep into the protagonists' most vulnerable feelings as they pay dearly for both sin and honor. Bookended by mahjong games, the story spans the 18 years of the 21st century. It centers on Qiao (Zhao Tao), the girlfriend of a provincial mobster who likes to think of himself as a big fish in a small pond. Zhao, Jia's muse and wife, surpasses herself in a role of mesmerizing complexity." (Variety) 


director: Jia Zhangke
composer: Lim Giong
producer: Nathanaël Karmitz, Shozo Ichiyama
screenplay: Jia Zhangke
Editor: Matthieu Laclau
Cinematography: Eric Gautier

production company: Arte France Cinéma

More info

dialogue: Mandarin
subtitles: Dutch/Eng subt.
country: China - France - Japan
year: 2018


JIA ZHANGKE (1970): Xiaoshan Going Home (1995), Pick Pocket (1997), Platform (2000), The Condition of Dogs (2001, short), In Public (2001, short), Unknown Pleasures (2002), The World (2004), Dong (2006), Still Life (2006), Our Ten Years (2007, short), Wuyong (2007), Stories on Human Rights (2008), Heshang aiqing (2008, short), 24 City (2008), I Wish I Knew (2010), Yulu (2011), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013), A Touch of Sin (2013), Smog Journeys (2015, short), Mountains May Depart (2015), The Hedonists (2016, short), Ash is Purest White (2018).

Technical Specs

format: DCP
frame: 1:1,85

Other festival films by director Jia Zhangke

2015:Mountains May Depart
2013:A Touch of Sin
2001:In public


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