Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue

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    Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue

    Yi zhi you dao hai shui bian lan

    Directed by



    112 min

    • Mandarin


    As a result of its strong economic performance and deeply rooted cultural traditions, Shanxi Province, where Jia Zhang-ke's hometown Fenyang is situated, has a special history and has become something of a Chinese Arcadia. Several writers have been here and taken the reality of rural lives as a point of reference for their poems, stories and novels. Jia founded a new film festival in Pingyao in 2017 and, as cultural ambassador of the region, also launched a literary festival in 2019. It was in this context that he made this documentary. In it, esteemed writers Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua and Liang Hong, who belong to three different generations, describe their own experiences and the influence those experiences have on their work in an urbanised China that has been transformed by the Cultural Revolution, economic reform and modernisation.



    Duan Huifang
    Jia Pingwa
    Yu Hua
    Liang Hong
    Jia Zhang-ke
    Wan Jiahuan
    Yu Lik-wai
    Kong Jinlei


    A fascinating portrait of writing under communism, as well offering key insights into the esteemed Chinese director himself.

    Cultured Vultures

    Zhang-Ke Jia

    Zhang-Ke Jia


    Jia Zhangke was born in Fenyang, Shanxi, in 1970, and graduated from the Beijing Film Academy. His debut feature UNKNOWN PLEASURES (2002) won prizes in Berlin, Vancouver and elsewhere. Since then, his films have routinely premiered in the major European festivals. STILL LIFE won the Golden Lion in Venice IFF in 2006, and A TOUCH OF SIN won the Best Screenplay prize in Cannes IFF in 2013. Several of his films have blurred the line between fiction and documentary. He has also produced films by many young directors, and has made cameo appearances in films for other directors. In 2015, Jia Zhangke returned to Cannes to receive the Carrosse d’Or Prize and his feature MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART (2015) was selected in Competition. In 2018 ASH IS PUREST WHITE featured in competition at Cannes 2018. SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE (2020) premiered at Berlinale.

    Selected Filmography