Archive of films The Red Awn / Hong se kang bai yln

2007, 101 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2008

This visually captivating Chinese film, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Pusan Festival and the main prize at the festival in Thessaloniki, tells of the complicated bonding of an adolescent son and his father, who left years before to work in the city.


The premise of a father’s return to his family after five years of wandering in search of work develops into an exposition of his onerous attempts to bond with his son from whom he has been separated for the key years of the youth’s adolescence. Although the personal gulf between the two men seems insurmountable, they set out to work together on harvesting the wheat fields. This debut, garlanded in prestigious awards, is impressive primarily for its renunciation of the blatantly melodramatic affectation of films about fathers bonding with their offspring. Likewise it also leaves aside the social context that plays an important role in the vast majority of Chinese festival films, focusing instead on the personal level of the central conflict and on a thorough portrayal of the characters and their desperate situation. The film is also captivating for its poetic cinematography, which plays up the sharp colour contrast between the golden fields, the open sky and the red harvester that earns the protagonists their living.

About the director

Cai Shangjun made his directorial debut with the film The Red Awn, but he’s no novice. He has worked as a screenwriter for many years, particularly on the films of director Zhang Yang. Cai has known the world-renowned director since his studies at the Chinese Central Academy of Drama, from which they both graduated in 1992. The most famous product of the screenwriter/director duo’s collaboration thus far has been the film Shower (Xiao, 1999), which was also released in the Czech Republic. Cai also wrote the screenplays for Zhang’s Spicy Love Soup (Aiqing mala tang, 1997) and Sunflower (Xiang ri kui, 2005). The Red Awn won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Pusan Festival and the main prize at the festival in Thessaloniki in 2007.


Wan Ji Communications & Productions Co., Ltd.
1A Suite 19D, Tech-Exhibit Center Building, Bei San Huan Xi Lu 48, HaiDian District, 100086, Beijing
Tel: +86 10 621 613 07-603
Fax: +86 10 621 626 57

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Cai Shangjun
Screenplay: Gu Xiaobai, Cai Shangjun, Feng Rui
Dir. of Photography: Li Chengyu, Chen Hao
Music: Huang Zhenyu, Dong Wei
Editor: Zhou Ying
Producer: Li Xudong
Production: XiuDong Hao Ye Investment & Consulting Ltd.
Cast: Yao Anlian, Lu Yulai, Shi Junhui, Huang Lu, Wang Hong
Contact: Wan Ji Communications & Productions Co., Ltd.

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