Film Theater at the Rubenstein Arts Center 2020 Campus Drive Durham,
Ash is Purest White (Jia Zhangke, 2019, 141 min, China, Mandarin w/ English subtitles, Color, DCP)
— Introduced by Prof. Rey Chow (Program in Literature)
Set over a 17-year period beginning in 2001, this epic romantic tragedy from Jia Zhangke unfolds with uncommon precision and disarming pathos. In a career-high performance, Zhao Tao stars as the fiercely loyal girlfriend of a local gangster played by Liao Fan. Enduring a prison sentence on his behalf, she emerges to find a changed China.
“This is one of Zhangke’s peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you’ve seen before.” Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune