Director: LINA WANG
86 mins, China, 2018, Digital, Subtitled
Chinese filmmaker Lina Wang’s astonishing debut documents the lives of China’s Uyghur Islamic minorities in the Northwest Xinjiang Province of China, told through the story of Isa, a Muslim farm boy, his friend Kalbinur, and their families.
One by one family and friends leave, as each faces the life-changing implications of education, work and caring for their elderly and sick as the region expands and is modernised. A visual document of the erosion of the Uyghur community and the homogenisation of a unique culture through language politics (Mandarin becomes a requirement at school), this story is delicately told from a child’s perspective. A pure, contemplative atmosphere, combines with scenes of arresting beauty, and realist performances delivered by a nonprofessional cast.