„Qin mi“/ press

Press reviews for „Qin mi“ by Cheng Yu.

„This film has an astounding moment where we see the moon in the distance, framed by the two protagonists and the balcony railings. The shot is long enough, and timed well enough, that we get to see it crawl slowly across part of the screen. I’m interpreting the rest of the film as an allegory for the various identities people take on to survive against a totalitarian regime – a fascinating, enigmatic piece of film-making […].“
review by Fedor Tot for journeyintocinema.com

L’histoire : Sachiko et Meng vivent ensemble, peut-être sont-ils en couple. Ils discutent de choses de tous les jours, endossent des rôles différents et c’est ainsi qu’ils évoquent leur relation. Pourquoi on l’aime : Ce mystérieux court métrage raconte les différents riens de personnages dont les liens demeurent flous. Les discussions sont chuchotées, sans affect. On regarde à travers la fenêtre « des choses qu’on ne pourrait imaginer ». Les protagonistes marchent à l’ombre des lumières nocturnes de la ville dans ce film qui, du soin apporté aux cadre aux variations lumineuses, est visuellement superbe.“
review by Nicolas Bardot and Gregory Coudaut for Le Polyester

The nature of relationships between men and women is the primary focus of Cheng Yu’s peculiar but compelling Daughter and Son, which screened in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition. Inspired partly by the manga artwork of Yoshiharu Tsuge and the writing of Peng Jianbin, Cheng crafted a story almost by accident. Originally conceived as a chamber piece about a couple being visited by one partner’s mother, instead, it became a two-hander in which the two younger actors took on multiple roles. It creates a fascinating labyrinth of meaning as they alternate playing the mother and thus have a variety of direct-but-indirect dialogues about their own relationship. Initially, Sachiko (Wuchen Xingzi) and Ming (Li Minghao), who share a pokey apartment, just seem to be having mundane conversations. They talk about preparing dinner, whether the air conditioning is fixed, and where the cat is. Potential tension rears its head when Sachiko announces that her mother will be visiting, and, when asked by Ming, that she will be introducing him as her “roommate.” However, any such tension falls by the wayside when instead of the mother arriving in the form of a separate physical entity, she is interchangeably personified by Sachiko and Ming. Through this method, ‘Sachiko’s mother’ has discussions with both Sachiko and Ming as they seamlessly morph in and out of their own identities. Not only does it make a pointed comment on the various roles we play within our relationships, but more so it allows for some uncomfortably frank exchanges which are, perhaps counter-productively, mediated by their unusual context.
review by Ben Nicholson for The Film Verdict

„Other films forego a conventional narrative structure too, and are the expression of a feeling or mood. […] or Qin mi (Daughter and Son) by Cheng Yu. I like how the people relate to one another in both films. There’s not a lot of action, but what does happen resonates for a long time and you leave the cinema with a feeling of comfort.“
interview with Anna Henckel-Donersmarck for the Berlinale Website

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