A Long Journey Home
ZHANG Wenqian China 123 mins NC16 (Some Coarse Language) Asian Premiere
Capturing a mix of volatility and vulnerability with brutal honesty, this documentary is an affecting portrait of a disintegrating family.
Zhang Wenqian returns home from her studies abroad and straight into a long-brewing conflict. Quietly armed with a camera, Zhang carefully illuminates the continued fracturing of her family. Threadbare civility takes a sharply violent turn to combative clashes over topics on money, homeownership and other relational aspects of a family unit.
But the rawest of scenes bears witness to a daughter’s relationship with her estranged parents. As a distant father tries to recover a tenderness long gone and a mercurial mother charges towards an uncertain future, what remains for Zhang is the pain of the present and the growing distance between them. A new home awaits the family, but the fissures in the foundation may just endure.
ZHANG Wenqian is an alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A Long Journey Home, her feature debut, was awarded the jury prize in the Burning Lights Competition at Visions du Réel.