Return to Dust

A film by Li Ruijun. In Chisese with German subtitles.

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

Ma and Guiying lead lives that are simi­lar­ly shel­te­red and dif­fi­cult. He is a reti­cent far­mer, the last of his fami­ly to remain unmar­ried; she is dis­ab­led and infer­ti­le, and long past what is con­side­red to be mar­ry­ing age in rural China. Their arran­ged mar­ria­ge, uniting two peo­p­le who are accus­to­med to iso­la­ti­on and humi­lia­ti­on, would appear to force them into a rela­ti­onship that will make life worse for both of them. But ins­tead, they sei­ze the oppor­tu­ni­ty to rise abo­ve them­sel­ves and dis­co­ver their shared desti­ny. They learn how to beco­me clo­se com­pa­n­ions, how to speak up, how to care for each other and even how to smi­le. All this in spi­te of the hard work requi­red of them by their quint­essen­ti­al bond with the land and the tri­als that await them on their com­mon path. Against a back­drop of topics such as the explo­ita­ti­on of farm workers, forced urba­ni­sa­ti­on, the uproo­ting of tra­di­ti­ons and pover­ty, Li Ruijun – who returns to his birth­place of Gaotai, in the nor­t­hern pro­vin­ce of Gansu – prio­ri­ti­ses the cha­rac­ters’ world­view, with its inher­ent nai­ve­ty and fra­gi­li­ty, through an act of trust and love that infu­ses the film with subt­le ten­der­ness and pro­found humanity.


CN 2022, 132 Min., chin. OmU
Regie & Schnitt: Li Ruijun
Kamera: Wang Weihua
mit: Wu Renlin, Hai Qing

Return to Dust – Trailer OV/d/f
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