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Anthony Chen

The Breaking Ice (燃冬)

Director Anthony Chen Composer Kin Leonn Cast Dongyu Zhou, Haoran Liu, Chuxiao Qu
97' - 2023 - Drama - Dialogue: Mandarin, Korean
In the eerie snowy landscape between North Korea and China, an endearing Gen Z throuple wards off existential unrest with melancholic love and a spontaneous road trip.
When Haofeng misses his flight, he meets the bubbly tour guide Nana and her best friend Xiao on the border between China and North Korea. With an empathic nod to the French nouvelle vague, Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen's The Breaking Ice chronicles the emotionally layered and sexually charged encounter between three lonely souls. Peering into existential angst, the twenty-somethings seem to face a permanent dilemma. Can a night out or a spontaneous road trip still remedy those feelings of melancholic loneliness, or does that just make it all the more awkward? With a delicate gaze and a refreshing soundtrack, Chen portrays a Chinese generation that, wandering through murky meaninglessness and frozen landscapes, gently connects with the humanity of others.
“This poignant, poised story pivots on the deeper discovery that often, it is by involving ourselves in the healing of others, that we come to be healed ourselves, and on the sadder realization that even if connection makes life livable, the living must ultimately be done alone.” - Variety

Image gallery

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Anthony Chen


Kin Leonn


Dongyu Zhou, Haoran Liu, Chuxiao Qu


Anthony Chen

Director of Photography

Jing-Pin Yu


Hoping Chen, Mun Thye Soo


Anthony Chen, Meng Xie

Production studios

Canopy Pictures

More info


Mandarin, Korean

Countries of production

Singapore, China




Anthony Chen
Ilo Ilo (2013), Wet Season (2019)