Still Life (DVD)

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Jia Zhang Ke's Still Life is a leading example of China's Sixth Generation cinema.

This Golden Lion winner tells two contemplative and compassionate stories of a man and woman searching for absent spouses in an ancient town on the Yangtze River.

Set against the spectacular landscape of the Three Gorges region, Jia Zhang Ke tells two contemplative and compassionate stories of a man and a woman searching for absent spouses in Fengjie, an ancient town on the Yangtze River which is being demolished and will soon vanish for ever in the flooding caused by the controversial Three Gorges hydroelectric dam project.

At the same time as offering a revelatory, thought-provoking portrait of people adrift in a world they no longer recognise, Still Life also reveals their energy, resilience and ability to reach new understandings.

With long, uninterrupted takes, Jia Zhang Ke subjects the changing landscape to intense lyrical scrutiny, illuminating the relationship between individuals and their environment and the strange co-existence of man-made squalor with so much natural beauty.

Director: Jia Zhang Ke

Cast: Shen Hong, Sanming

Genre: Drama

Language: Mandarin (with English subtitles)

Country: China

Year:  2006

Runtime: 111 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Special Features:

  • Feature Commentary by Tony Rayns.
  • Dong (Jia Zhangke, 2006, 66 min): a documentary companion piece to Still Life about painter Liu Xiaodong and his subjects, including male labourers from Still Life and female entertainment workers in Bangkok.
  • Illustrated booklet with an essay by Chris Berry, interviews with Jia, director biography.