Found footages from surveillance cameras are cleverly reassembled to tell a story about a man looking for his lost love.
What appears to be a melodrama about love found and lost turns out to be a conceptually clever film made up entirely of re-edited images cued from surveillance cameras available on cloud servers in China. When we first see her, Qing Ting is training to become a nun at a Buddhist temple. But she changes her mind, and meets Ke Fan, who falls in love with her before landing up in jail. Upon his release, he becomes obsessed with a dolled-up Internet superstar whom he believes is a reinvented version of Qing Ting.
By searching for drama in visual chaos, the film becomes a visual archaeology of the modern moving image, as well as a heartbreaking observation on the interchangeability of lives where every identity and story can be constructed and deconstructed at will, to genius effect.
Cast & Credits
Xu Bing was born in Chongqing and grew up in Beijing. Working in a wide range of media, he creates installations that question the idea of communicating meaning through language, and its manipulation. His directorial debut, Dragonfly Eyes, won the FIPRESCI Prize and Special Mention: Ecumenical Jury at Locarno International Film Festival 2017.
Zhai Yongming, Matthieu Laclau
Zhai Yongming, Zhang Hanyi
• FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Locarno Film Festival 2017
• In-competition, Locarno Film Festival 2017