River Road

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    River Road

    Jia Zai Shui Cao Feng Mao De Di Fang

    Directed by

    China

    2014

    103 min

    • Mandarin
    • Turkic

    Drama

    RIVER ROAD is the story of two Yugur ethnic minority brothers, Bartel and Adikeer. They set out on a journey across the prairies of northwestern China in search of their parents, skillfully maneuvering their camels over the vast expanse of dry ground. The allure of the film's core components – the great outdoors, children, and animals – instantly catch our attention. Though realistic, the boys' journey, powered by dreams and anxiety, is depicted with a touch of fantasy. And to firmly establish his characters, director Li Ruijun imbues this impressive effort – a coming-of-age drama couched in the guise of an adventure – with a winning sense of humor rooted in careful attention to detail. At the heart of the film, however, is a mournful air, bemoaning the disappearance of ethnic minorities and the destruction of nature. As suggested by its epic scale, the work has the classic qualities of a film that allows us to enjoy being emotionally affected emotional by what we see.

    Awards

    • SIGNIS Award - Hong Kong IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Tang Long
    Guo Songtao
    Screenplay
    Li Ruijun
    Cinematography
    Liu Yonghong
    Editing
    Li Ruijun
    Music
    Peyman Yazdanian

    Director's Statement

    This film about two young brothers from the Yugur ethnic minority trying to cope with a changing world and connect with each other as they search for their missing father. I am a child. I haven't grown up so far. I come from a wide grassland in Northern China, walking alone on a branch road. I stepped into a city full of gears. I walked into a narrow alleyway with my small heart. I am staying in the mist. I continue telling my green story...

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    Li Ruijun

    Li Ruijun

    China

    Li Ruijun was born in Gansu Province, China in 1983. At the age of 14, he studied painting and music. In 2003, he graduated from the Institute of Management of China National Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. He has directed four films: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE (2007), THE OLD DONCKEY (2010), FLY WITH THE CRANE (2012) and RIVER ROAD (2014). His 2017 film WALKING PAST THE FUTURE was selected in the Un Certain Regard section at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.