WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 08/28

COMING HOME

(If you want to be transported)  

Vincent Georgie: Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s film was surprise popular hit at WIFF 2014 (taking third-place in the LiUNA! People’s Choice Award balloting). His muse, the beguiling Gong Li is one of my favourite actresses. Together, they tell an absorbing political historical drama that is both emotional and deeply visually beautiful.

Synopsis: Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.

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SORRY WE MISSED YOU

(If you want to be moved)  

Vincent Georgie: A tender, achingly relatable film about the impossible pressures that are put upon those who work in the gig economy, as told through the eyes of a single, dignified family who can’t seem to catch a break. British filmmaker Ken Loach’s slice-of-life films have frequently been seen at WIFF. His cast of workaday actors are well-suited to this film.

Synopsis: Ricky and his family have been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash. An opportunity to wrestle back some independence appears with a shiny new van and the chance to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver. It’s hard work, and his wife’s job as a carer is no easier. The family unit is strong but when both are pulled in different directions everything comes to breaking point.

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