Still life — Sānxiá Hǎorén ~ Chinese Movies&TV


Still life — Sānxiá Hǎorén

Still Life (Chinese: 三峡好人; pinyin: Sānxiá hǎorén; literally “Good people of the Three Gorges”) is a 2006 Chinese film directed by Jia Zhangke. Shot in the old village of Fengjie, a small town on the Yangtze River which is slowly being destroyed by the building of the Three Gorges Dam, Still Life tells the story of two people in search of their spouses. Still Life is a co-production between the Shanghai Film Studio and Hong Kong-based Xstream Pictures.

Still Life premiered in the 2006 Venice Film Festival, where it won the film festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion award. With its win, the film’s profile was instantly raised. Chinese press, upon seeing its success, also gave the film and its director positive coverage in the media.


Director: Jia Zhangke

By the time of its limited release in the United States in early January 2008, and received acclaim from critics. Manohla Dargis, critic for The New York Times, noted that Jia’s film “exists on a continuum with the modernist masters, among other influences, but [that] he is very much an artist of his own specific time and place.” Other critics, like J. Holberman of The Village Voice, also praised the film but noted the more political undertones, consciously drawing contrast to the Fifth Generation director Zhang Yimou and his more recent big-budget epics. At the end of 2008, Village Voice and LA Weekly’s annual film poll of film critics placed the film as the 4th best film of the year, and Film Comment, official journal of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual end of year critic’ poll of 100 film critics placed Still Life as the 6th best film of the year, with a total of 521 points. The film was voted the third best film of the past decade in a survey by the Toronto International Film Festival’s Cinematheque, composed of 60 film experts from around the world.

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