Archive of films Chrysanthemum Tea / Juhua cha

2000, 95 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2001


The story of an unexpected meeting which occurs at the edge of the extremely photogenic Gobi desert. Set against a backdrop of the changing seasons, a bond is established between a railroad worker named Jianxin and Li, a young relief teacher. But a heart defect Li’s had since birth prevents their mutual attraction from maturing into a full love relationship, and it seems as if Li will remain Jianxin’s friend rather than become his wife. But Jianxin has no intention of giving her up: after being disappointed long ago, Li is the first person who’s been able to call him back to life. And so Li and Jianxin move in together, their love poised to blossom, but the drama doesn’t end there; in fact it’s only just begun. Though at first rather inconspicuous, this work is one of last year’s most stylistically successful movies. Its balanced form guards against the cheap aestheticising possible in the extroadinary semi-desert landscape, and the film oscillates between sweeping shots and the counterpoint offered by exceptional acting performances.

About the director

Jin Chen (b. 1969) finished drama studies at the Central Academy of Drama in 1996 and was then executive director of an eight-part television series The Tragedy in Opera. After directing the documentary Zhao Enlai and Art, he debuted in features with Love in the Internet Generation (1999), followed by Chrysanthemum Tea (2000).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Jin Chen
Screenplay: Chen Jianbin
Dir. of Photography: Huang Lian
Music: An Wei
Editor: Du Yuan
Producer: Zhang Peimin, Lu Cunzhi, Hou Shengyuan
Production: Xian Film Studio, Shaanxi Hengtai Group.
Cast: Wu Yue, Chen Jianbin, He Tao, Zhang Zhongjie, Qui Yuzhen, Cheng Qin, Huang Lian

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