The Innovative Films of Qiu Jiongjiong

The Moon Palace

Expired May 30, 2022 4:00 AM
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Read an introduction to Qiu's work here.

“At the end of May 2006, I got the news that my parents would close the restaurant that had been open for fourteen years in July. Because I felt sorry, I decided to make a film about it. The filming began after daily meals and slight inebriation. . . [as the atmosphere] became more and more screwed up.” That is Qiu Jiongjiong’s assessment of his remarkable debut, The Moon Palace: a portrait of his father and the restaurant he ran. 


In this experimental black-and-white documentary, vivid evocations of Sichuan opera (including one about the great inebriated Tang poet Li Bai) alternate with Qiu’s father’s elegies to wine and Qiu’s aunties’ reminiscences about politics, art, persecution, and movie stars. Simulated interviews pastiched with non-synchronous sound, a superb hybrid score, and a curious dancing chicken round out this set of documentary gestures that magically coalesce into a patriarchal portrait that’s rambunctious, probing, nostalgic, and critical. Description by Shelly Kraicer.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    105 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Qiu Jiongjiong