Up the Mountain

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    Up the Mountain

    Directed by



    126 min


    Years ago, artist Shen Jianhua moved from Shanghai to a remote mountain village. His drawing lessons have a profound effect on the lives of the people who take them. The master painter’s home is an open house for his painting guests. One of Shen’s pupils is impressed by his modern lifestyle and wonders if he and his new wife should move to the city.

    Meanwhile, elderly ladies produce colorful paintings of everything that goes on in the village: the New Year’s party, newborn kittens, a banquet. Director Zhang Yang captures their chance, sometimes comical conversations, and follows the calm rhythm of their daily lives. The result is a film about the warmth of the open fire, the sound of snapping corncobs and simmering fish soup. Zhang shows life in the mountains in fabulous views with great depth and geometric precision. Every frame is like a painting, and the stunning compositions demand the same calm and attention of the viewer as the craftsmanship of the painter.



    Daming Guo
    Le Wei
    Zhang Yang

    Zhang Yang


    Zhang Yang was born in Beijing and graduated from that city's Central Theatre Academy. Since his first feature, SPICY LOVE SOUP (1997), many of his films have played at International festivals, including SHOWER (1999) - which won the FIPRESCI prize at the Toronto IFF - QUITTING (2001) and SUNFLOWER (2005). His other films include GETTING HOME (2007), DRIVERLESS (2010), FULL CIRCLE (2012) and PATHS OF THE SOUL (2015). The latter screened in Toronto IFF in 2015. UP THE MOUNTAIN (2018) is his latest film which was selected for IDFA.

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