This Winter

Director: Zhong Hua

‘This Winter’ is a first-time film by young Chinese filmmaker Zhong Hua.
He studied at the prestigious Beijing National Film Academy after working as an armed policeman for several years. His video is an emotional group portrait of young policemen in the last days of their service before they leave the forces. Unlike what we may expect from an independent work from China, the film is not political but deals with the coming-of-age of young people who must leave a secure ‘home’ for the
outside world. Dividing his film into four chapters and a surprising coda, director Zhong Hua follows these members of the Beijing police as they mark their last days of service in distinct ways – giving blood, losing their virginity, a final mounting of the guard or singing for their comrades. In this age of tightly polished digital video productions, the aesthetic rawness and narrative slack of This Winter is a refreshing virtue. Tender, playful and melancholic, the visceral emotion and intimacy of the listless young men profiled here is a rare pleasure. Almost spiritual in its sparse delicacy, the film is a warm, welcome discovery.
(2002. China. English Subtitles. Beta SP. 90mins)
Directed by: Zhong Hua

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