Jia Zhangke continues to chronicle contemporary Chinese society, but this time he looks to the future in a story stretching from 1999 to 2025.
Zhangke offers wry humour and class pressures in the romcom-like opening third, tragedy and drama as his leads age, and fierce independence from the new generation of the final act.
As always, Mountains is beautifully scripted and directed, except for some tone-deaf moments in the final third – excusable as Zhangke’s first foray into the English language. He’s on more familiar ground with regular collaborator Zhao Tao, who delivers a beautifully nuanced and ever-evolving performance.
Finding powerful drama in simple human relationships, Zhangke has produced a touching tale of China yesterday, today and tomorrow.
CAST: Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Jing Dong Liang, Zijian Dong, Sylvia Chang
DIRECTOR: Jia Zhangke
WRITER: Jia Zhangke
SYNOPSIS: China, 1999. Childhood friends Liangzi and Zhang are both in love with Tao, the town beauty. Tao eventually decides to marry the wealthier Zhang and they soon have a son, who he names Dollar. From China to Australia, witness the lives, loves, hopes and disillusions of a family over two generations in a society changing at breakneck speed.