So Long, My Son

Directed by Wang Xiaoshuai

China | 2019 | 185 min

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About the Film

“So measured is the pacing, so sinuous the timeline, so understated the subtle ache of the performances that you don’t immediately realise that Wang Xiaoshuai’s exquisite three-hour drama has been performing the emotional equivalent of open-heart surgery on the audience since pretty much the first scene.” Wendy Ide, The Observer (UK)

In the mid-1980s, two families work together in a factory in northern China. They are very close. So are their sons, who were born on the same day. But then a tragic accident pulls the families apart and, as China’s dramatic social transformation generates increasing inequalities, they follow very different paths both geographically and in economic terms. Will they ever be able to reconcile with one another and their shared but separating pasts? Moving backwards and forwards from the accident through four decades of Chinese history, acclaimed director Wang Xiaoshuai carefully constructs an epic, deeply moving drama of ordinary lives and severed connections in the midst of extraordinary social change.

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Awards

  • Berlin International Film Festival, 2019, Nominee for the Golden Bear (Best Film)
  • China Film Critics Association Award, 2019, Top Ten Films
  • Shanghai Film Critics’ Awards, 2020, Top Ten Films
  • Uruguay International Film Festival, 2019, Special Jury Award and Audience Award
  • Chinese Film Association, Golden Rooster Awards, 2019, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay
  • Chinese Film Media Awards, 2019, Best Actor
  • Iqiyi (Beijing) TV and Movie Awards, 2019, Jury Award, Best Actor in a Motion Picture
  • Minsk International Film Festival, 2019, Best Cinematography
  • Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards, 2019, Best Screenplay

About the Director

Wang Xiaoshuai was a pioneer of Chinese independent films in the 1990s and has gone on to garner a global reputation for works such as The Days (1993), Beijing Bicycle (2001), and In Love We Trust (2008). His films have competed four times at the Cannes Film Festival (twice in Un Certain Regard, twice in the main Competition), twice in the Berlinale, and also at the Venice and San Sebastian film festivals. In 2010, he was appointed chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.