Durian Durian is a two-part film split between Mongkok’s Portland Street in Hong Kong and the north-eastern border region of mainland China. Ah Fan, the young girl from Little Cheung, lives in the former with her poor family, originally from Shenzhen, who illegally overstayed their three month visas to scrape together an income washing dishes and selling cigarettes. Fan meets Yan, a prostitute from the mainland, in a laneway behind Portland Street. They become friends after Yan’s pimp is assaulted in front of Fan by an assailant wielding that most dangerous of weapons, a heavy, sharply spiney-skinned durian fruit. Yan returns to the north-east to invest what she has earned after her three month Hong Kong visa expires.
Debut feature film from one of the most widely recognized directors from China’s “New Generation” of filmmakers, Ju Anqi. Filmed in Spring 1999, a gonzo camera crew roams the streets of China’s capital, asking random passersby, “Is the wind strong in Beijing?” This ambiguous question provokes a startling variety of responses that expose social and cultural anxieties within contemporary China.
Xu Daqin, a retired Chinese factory worker, returns to the remote Yunnan province, where he hopes to reconcile himself with the life and opportunity he passed up in this place 40 years ago.
Li Chun is sent to be re-educated on a commune in Yunnan, near the Burmese border, where she has a hard time of it at first, as she’s willing to work her fingers to the bone, but no one is willing to accept her.
Beijing, the Seventies. Now that the Cultural Revolution has driven most adults to the provinces, 14-year old Monkey and his pals have free reign over the city. They hang around, get up to no good and discover that unsolvable mystery more commonly referred to as ‘girls’.
Four friends come up with an unusual idea to make some money and have fun doing it. For a small fee, they will impersonate and act out any character role for their customers. In the course of executing this novel service, they encounter a whole spectrum of people in society, finding ways to genuinely help them boost their morale and overcome their fears, while gaining unusual and new insights into the human condition.
A married village worker teams up with an old girlfriend to try to dig a well for his water-starved village. The well collapses and they are trapped. Their enforced confinement leads to them exploring their feelings for each other and those around them.
When engineer Zhao Shuxin loses his prized black cannon chess piece in a hotel room, he sends a telegram stating, “Missing black cannon, search in 301 for Zhao.” But the message is intercepted by Chinese authorities, setting in motion a bumbling investigation that only becomes more ridiculous with each passing day. Huang Jianxin’s rare (for its time) political comedy takes on China’s bureaucracy and authorities, using wit and satire to accomplish what most filmmakers wouldn’t dare to attempt.