Ash Is Purest White
An epic tale of love, crime and ennui plays against the backdrop of a dying coal-mining town in Jia Zhangke’s latest.
Singapore PremiereChina, France / 2018 / 141 MIN / Mandarin / PG13: Some Coarse Language
Told in three distinct chapters that span almost two decades, the film chronicles the relationship between Qiao and small-time gangster Bin, whose life she saves—an act which lands her in prison for five years. Upon release, Qiao tries to begin where she left off, only to realise that the world around her has irrevocably changed.
Ash is Purest White marks the first collaboration between director Jia and cinematographer Eric Gautier, most known for working with French auteur Olivier Assayas. Together they approached the film’s photography in a unique and dynamic manner by employing a variety of shooting formats, from mini DV tape to HD and even 35mm film. It’s a technique that brings out subtle, distinct differences in colour and texture, deftly reflecting shifts in story and character.
Cast & Credits
Jia Zhangke is a writer-director from China whose films have been a mainstay on the international festival circuit since the late ’90s. His 2006 film Still Life won Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion award. Jia is also the founder of Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, held in China’s Shanxi province.
Zhao Tao, Liao Fan, Xu Zheng
*In Competition, Palme d’Or, Cannes 2018
*Official Selection, Toronto Film Festival 2018