I originally wanted to make films that would change the world. . . now I just wish to make films that make people sigh. —Jia Zhangke

STILL LIFE (SANXIA HAOREN) (China/Hong Kong, 2006, 108 min.)

Fengjie is one of the ancient towns along China’s Yangtze River about to be submerged by the massive Three Gorges Dam. The largest hydroelectric project in the world, the dam has resulted in the relocation of 1.2 million people. Into this scene, middle-aged miner Han Sanming, who hasn’t been paying attention to the news, arrives after an absence of 16 years to track down his ex-wife Missy and their daughter. After hearing that they were last seen down river in Yichang, he stays in the area working on demolition and hoping to see his family. Nurse Shen Hong arrives from another province looking for her husband, who has been AWOL for two years. Resolution of both stories is downbeat and inconclusive in this contemplative look at spiritual and emotional malaise in modern China. A visually beautiful film, Still Life captures rich and authentic details of people, situations, implements and household paraphernalia as it shares the idiosyncrasies of local culture, customs and demeanor. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Directed by Jia Zhangke. Produced by Xu Pengle, Wang Tianyun and Zhu Jiong. Winner, Golden Lion Award, 2006 Venice Film Festival.

Introduced by Robert Daly, Director, Institute for Global Chinese Affairs, the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ticket/Reservation Info:

FREE. Tickets (limit two per person) are distributed at the Meyer Auditorium one hour before the film begins on a first-come, first-served basis.

Freer Gallery of Art, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium,

1050 Independence Ave., SW (METRO: Smithsonian)

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