CineCina and Smart Cinema USA are proud to present the virtual screenings of these amazing films beginning June 25. The virtual CineCina iFest is only on The SmartCinema USA app. You can download it on App Store or Google Play.
The Shadow Play
Tang Yijie, the Construction Committee Director, falls off from the rooftop and dies in a demolition riot. Yang Jiadong, a young police officer starts his investigation and finds that Tang’s death is tied up with another case several years ago. Soon he is framed and suspended from duty, but he never gives up. The film unfolds how individuals and families make fortune in the past 30 years since the reform in China began.
The Pluto Moment
WANG Zhun, a film director living in Shanghai, travels to the deep mountains of southwest China seeking the inspiration for his film in the traditional song of mourning The Tale of Darkness. He is accompanied by DING Hongmin, the savvy producer; BAI, a handsome young actor just beginning his career; and DU Chun, the videographer and an admirer of WANG Zhun. Over time, the crew, even though they are led by the knowledgeable local guide LUO, not only get lost in the distant mountains, but they also encounter difficulties with their lodging and transportation. The tough situation keeps reminding WANG Zhun of an image, that is his estranged wife GAO Li, a famous actress. He confirms her participation in his new film. However, GAO makes fun of WANG Zhun saying that his script is impossible. Along the trip, the relationships among the crew members change and the trip begins to lose its direction. WANG Zhun’s rootless, fearful emotions are stripped bare. They finally get to watch the aging singers performing The Tale of Darkness at a funeral. The song brings them into an extraordinarily different world. The tough situation keeps reminding WANG Zhun of a image.
Lina is an aspiring young woman, happily married and mother to a ten years old boy. However she senses that the world around her is collapsing. It’s the end of the 20th century, Manchuria, a formerly prosperous industrial area, couldn’t seem to adjust to China’s mutation. Lina wants to fit in this emerging society, furthermore she wants a brilliant future for her son.
Lina leaves for Paris hoping to quickly gather up funds to come back to Banxi. But over there nothing goes as planned and like the women who left before her, Lina hides the “shameful” reality of her life in France from her loved ones. Her lie won’t be without consequences and Lina will acknowledge that some things are priceless.
In Search of Echo
The actor with few job offers, Mr. Zhu hops on a ferry in search of his wife, on the island where they first met. It is the low season on the island, with few visitors in plain sight. Yet Zhu continues to actively photograph everything on the island. He encounters various islanders, gets familiar with a hotel owner, becomes attracted to a primary school teacher, and engages in a romance with the manager of a local dance club. While he begins a fascinating journey, his wife is still nowhere to be found…
China’s Forgotten Daughters
This documentary tells an intimate story of one woman’s journey as she questions the country’s traditional notions of family and identity, revealing the wounds that tear at the heart of Chinese society in the aftermath of the one-child policy.
Midi Z Retrospective
Currently based in Taiwan, and possibly Myanmar’s most prominent director on the international stage, Midi Z is a protégé of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, one of the most important filmmakers in the Taiwanese New Wave and in the history of world cinema. Midi Z’s films tell stories not only about the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, but also about the Burmese diaspora in Taiwan. The subjects of Midi Z‘s films are often social issues such as poverty and economic displacement that plague Myanmar, his home country, issues that are connected to socio-economic relations with neighboring countries such as Laos and Thailand.
A young farmer and his father are barely able to survive on their meagre corn harvest and so they make their way down from the mountains to the village to borrow money from their relatives working in jade mines or on opium plantations. But missing paperwork, deceit and corruption have left them impoverished too. Finally, the father pawns his cow for a moped so that his son can earn a living as a taxi driver. His first customer is Sanmei, who has returned to Myanmar to bury her grandfather. She decides not to go back to China and to get out of an arranged marriage in order to begin a new life with her son in her old country. When Sanmei accepts a job as a drug runner she persuades the young farmer to be her driver.
Arranged by a smuggling syndicate, A Hong and his young teen sister, along with a group of Burmese young, sneaked across the Myanmar/Thailand border and arrived at a remote town called Dagudi in Northern Thailand. A Hong’s sister was taken away by the gangs, which was a deal her Mother made for the money. A Hong went to Bangkok and worked under a tour guide, a wildcatter from Myanmar who has lived in Thailand illegally for years. The flood killed the tourism business. A Hong followed this big brother back to Dagudi, trying to sell a batch of medicine that could be made into the profitable drugs to local gang leaders. All A Hong wanted was to get the cash quickly and redeemed his sister, but he couldn’t reach the smuggling ring any longer.
RETURN TO BURMA
For decades, Burma holds its first presidential election. Many of the Burmese living in foreign lands believe that changes will happen soon and it will move towards prosperity. So Xing-hong and Rong decide to return home. However, just a few days before departure, during an overtime shift, Rong has an accident. With Rong’s ashes, Xing-hong returns home alone. When Xing-hong arrives home, he finds out that his brother De is about to go to Malaysia to work. Many young people want to leave Burma, but Xing-hong has always wanted to stay in his hometown to do business. He begins asking around for possible business opportunities, but yet cannot decide which business to engage in. To Xing-hong, Burma seems unfamiliar and distant, because he has left Burma for too long…