Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema
Visionario, Via Asquini 33
Friday, April 28, time 8.00 PM


By date


By title



Fish Tank
Liu Haoge
China 2016, 6'
Experimental Animation Short

Director Liu Haoge, with animator Rebecca Zhao, uses beautifully conceived hand-drawn animation to create a constantly morphing natural and artificial world, where people and animals are trapped, constrained, yet find ways to be free. A rich, dazzling, inventive new work from two young Chinese artists with a great future. Winner, Avant Garde Spirit Prize at the China Independent Film Festival 2016.

Knife in The Clear Water
Wang Xuebo
China 2016, 93'

Ma Zishan (Yang Shengcang) is an aging Muslim farmer, part of the Hui minority. He and his family eke out an existence farming on an arid moonscape in China’s northwest Ningxia province, one of the poorest regions of the country. Forty days after his wife dies, Ma must perform a memorial service and invite his village neighbours to a feast. He and his adult son make the difficult decision to sacrifice their aging cow for the ser­vice. But the cow soon stops eating and drinking, as if in anticipation of its slaughter. Old Ma tenderly cares for the animal, washing it and attempting to feed it. Perhaps he sees something of himself in the loyal old beast? Both of them are approaching the end of their natural lifespans, as is the hardscrabble way of life that characterizes their village.
Classically shot scenes depict exquisite details of a distant way of life; in one beautiful instance, a sudden downpour provokes a joyous scene of the Ma family deploying every pot and pan they have to catch the rain before it is lost. Its quietly lyrical mise-en-scene, with an almost Renaissance concentration on the humanity illuminated and expressed by softly glowing natural light, marks this film as something quite extraordinary in Chinese non-commercial cinema, whose aesthetic more often than not sports a rougher, more ‘realistic’ surface. But indie Chinese director Wang Xuebo’s film offers a magical combination of super-realism and quasi-magical mythic narra­tive. His thoroughly un-exoticized depiction of everyday Islamic ritual in rural China is of vital importance for Western audiences today; prayers, ablutions and other prac­tices radiate a sense of sophistication, ageless tradition, and inner tranquility. Made with astonishingly expressive non-professional actors, this film has a stark spiritual purity, where beauty infuses every shot.
Shelly Kraicer
Film director: 
Liu Haoge, Wang Xuebo
2016, 2016
Running time: 
6', 93'


  • Fish Tank 00
  • Fish Tank 01
  • Fish Tank 02
  • Fish Tank 03
  • Fish Tank 04
  • Fish Tank 05
  • Knife In Clear Water 00
  • Knife In Clear Water 01
  • Knife In Clear Water 02
  • Knife In Clear Water 03
  • Knife In Clear Water 04
  • Knife In Clear Water 05
  • Knife In Clear Water 06
  • Knife In Clear Water 07
  • Knife In Clear Water 08