Mountains May Depart

Screening on 11/01/19

China 2015
Dir: Jia Zhangke
Starring: Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Dong Zijian
Cert 12A
126 mins

The vast socio-economic changes that have taken place in China in the 21st century are at the core of “Mountains May Depart”. We first see the main character Tao as a young woman in 1999, having to decide between two suitors. Liangzi is a modest and mild-mannered coal miner, perhaps symbolic of the old China, while the brash and wealth-obsessed Jingshen is an entrepreneur in the making. Tao chooses Jingshen. In 2014 we see Tao, now separated from her wealthy husband and their young son Daole (Dollar!), coping with the death of her father and the sadness she feels at seeing so little of her son. Take a leap forward to 2025 and we now find Jingshen and Daole among the Chinese diaspora in Australia. The emphasis is now on Daole, who resents his father and has seemingly forgotten his homeland. But does he still remember his mother? A moving saga of epic scale that poignantly depicts the human cost of social upheaval.

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