Silent Mist

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Silent Mist

Directed by Miaoyan Zhang

  • China, France 2017; 100 min
  • Original version: Chinese
  • Genre: Drama

  • Busan IFF


In the darkness of a rainy spring day, an ominous blanket of fog falls upon a peaceful canal town in Southern China. Shadows scatter along the damp walls of the streets in the picturesque and seemingly tranquil village. An old traveling musician arrives in the village and wanders through the winding narrow paths with his old dog trailing closely behind. The crisp bells on its dog collar softly echo in the neighborhood.
Soon after their arrival, mysterious incidents occur. A rapist lurks in the shadows of the night, hiding in the mist, searching for a prey. Schoolgirl Li is his first victim. She is stripped of all her dignity and both Li and her father have to endure the shame, the misery and the helplessness that ensues.
Meanwhile, a young couple tries to make a living with their tiny street restaurant. While the rapist operates under the cover of the mist, a fat, wealthy and influential businessman openly pollutes their lives with fear and uncertainty. The villagers seem unable to cope with both the open and the hidden dangers they all face from their morally corrupted compatriots.
While the villagers try to live their lives, the travelling musician is both a witness and a victim of the painful injustices bestowed upon the ordinary people.

Director's Statement

Silent Mist is loosely based on true events that happened in a small village on a waterfront town in China. The serial rapist in question was never caught and the incident was quickly glossed over. Through Silent Mist, I hope to portray China in an unconventional light by emphasizing some issues China is currently facing. It seems as if the newly-found freedom is predominantly used for individual gain. I view the rapes in Silent Mist as a symbol of this individual ‘freedom’ acquired at the cost of the innocent other. The main difference between Silent Mist and my previous films is that I will focus on more than one character. I will also apply genre-specific elements: Silent Mist will be a social drama with thriller elements. I will emphasize these elements by adding sequences from the rapist’s perspective.



    Guillaume de Seille 

Festival Bookings


    Pascale Ramonda