China/France – 2009 – 34 min – fiction
Director & Screenwriter: Haixiao DU
Cinematographer: Hiroto OGI
Editor & VFX supervisor: Sébastien SIMON
Sound: Charles GUIBERT & Pierre ALGENT
Original music: After In Paris (Patrick CHARTOL, Claire MICHAEL, Jean-Michel VALLET)
Line producer: Joelle Rui YANG
With: Alex PINTO (the soldier), Haixiao DU (the son), Fan JIANG (the father), Wuzhi WANG (the mother)
1919, Russia is in the midst of the Red Terror.
1989, Beijing citizens take to the streets yearning for personal freedom and liberty.
2009, Paris, a family of illegal immigrants prepare their New Year’s festivities while many of those who escaped the Russian Revolution, the Whites, lay in peace in the Eastern Orthodox Cemetery.
Which fate awaits the deserter from the Red Army and the illegal Chinese student in Paris?
A Russian soldier chooses to escape the tide of revolution and return to the safety of his mother and family. Fleeing from the “family” of revolutionaries, he tries to return to his own small family only to find that his true family has disappeared in the sea of revolution. With the memories of his old life gradually fading, he becomes a wandering soul with no true destination.
The Chinese Mother, an illegal immigrant, constantly finds herself trying to resolve the father-son conflicts in her household. Though try as she might, she cannot diffuse the tension and is pushed into the background. Fed up, her son decides to make a drastic rupture and runs away. However, his actions unwittingly mimic those of his father’s youth; all sons run away from their fathers.
Be it the Russian soldier clads in a white uniform searching for home or the Chinese son donning a “white uniform” in order to fight the conflict at home, life is like a wheel turning backwards and forwards through similar circumstances.
Black and white with color, the individual with the collective, father with son, history with nightmare, reality with the surreal, noise with seclusion, turbulence with calm are juxtaposed and examined. Time moves as if controlled by the hand of an archer, a hand that determines the bending of the bow and the path of the arrow. However, we only see the shadow of the bow, or the swift ray of the arrow. As life draws to a close, flesh and soul separate forever. We finally find ourselves, only to lose ourselves.