CMU IFF 2020-2021


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On Thursday, March 11th, the CMU IFF emulated our in-person festival event by hosting a screening followed by a free Live Discussion on Zoom with Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, director of "So Long, My Son". The discussion was facilitated by Patrick Stanny, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, and was moderated by Dr. Kun Qian, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Film at the University of Pittsburgh.

“So measured is the pacing, so sinuous the timeline, so understated the subtle ache of the performances that you don’t immediately realise that Wang Xiaoshuai’s exquisite three-hour drama has been performing the emotional equivalent of open-heart surgery on the audience since pretty much the first scene.”

Wendy Ide, The Observer (UK)

In the mid-1980s, two families work together in a factory in northern China. They are very close. So are their sons, who were born on the same day. But then a tragic accident pulls the families apart and, as China’s dramatic social transformation generates increasing inequalities, they follow very different paths both geographically and in economic terms. Will they ever be able to reconcile with one another and their shared but separating pasts? Moving backwards and forwards from the accident through four decades of Chinese history, acclaimed director Wang Xiaoshuai carefully constructs an epic, deeply moving drama of ordinary lives and severed connections in the midst of extraordinary social change.

Listen to our Spotify playlist inspired by the film!

Check out our review of the film on Letterboxd! (coming soon!)

  • Year
  • Runtime
    185 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Wang Xiaoshuai