08 19 Oct '24
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Jia Zhangke

A Touch of Sin (天注定)

Edition 2023
130' - 2013 - Action, Drama - Dialogue: Mandarin, English, Cantonese
Director: Jia Zhangke Composer: Lim Giong With: Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao
A Touch of Sin - Jia calls it his "political martial arts film" - is at once a magisterial action picture and a radiography of a complex and fascinating country where the excesses of inequality are driven to the top, a world that always wants more, that must always grow.
Jia Zhangke paints a stunning panoramic portrait of contemporary China, driven by profit-seeking, unbridled economic growth and rapid urbanisation, with prosperity for a select minority and despair and failure for the vast majority. Four stories picked from local fait-divers (three of which end in murder and one in suicide) set in contrasting geographical and social environments, from bursting at the seams southern metropolises to rural communities. Here, Jia leaves his familiar path of semi-documentary and semi-fiction hybrid and ventures into territory that, on the face of it, you don't associate with his cinematic image: genre cinema, the Asian fight film. The indiscriminate violence is extra powerful and shocking because it suddenly erupts in Jia's serene images. Because, yes, every shot is yet another marvel of composition, charge and cinematic intelligence.

"In A Touch of Sin, Jia is attuned to, and saddened by, the violence he sees creeping through his country, caused at least partly by the ever-widening disparity between the rich and poor. He ends on a note that’s more haunting than hopeful." - Village Voice

Image gallery

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Jia Zhangke


Lim Giong


Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao


Jia Zhangke

Director of Photography

Nelson Lik-wai Yu


Matthieu Laclau, Xudong Lin

Production studios

Xstream Pictures



More information


Mandarin, English, Cantonese

Countries of production

China, Japan, France




Jia Zhangke
Xiaoshan Going Home (1995), Pickpocket (1997), Platform (2000), In Public (short, 2001), The Condition of Dogs (short, 2001), Unknown Pleasures (2002), The World (2004), Dong (2006), Still Life (2006), Wuyong (2007), Our Ten Years (short, 2007), 24 City (2008), Cry Me a River (short, 2008), Stories on Human Rights (2008), Shi nian (2009), I Wish I Knew (2010), Yulu (2011), 3.11 Sense of Home (2011), A Touch of Sin (2013), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013), Smog Journeys (short, 2015), Mountains May Depart (2015), Our Time: A Decade of Daring (short, 2015), The Hedonists (short, 2016), Where Has the Time Gone (2017), Ash Is Purest White (2018), The Bucket (short, 2019), Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (2020), Visit (short, 2020)

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