// Presented as part of August's Contemporary Asian Cinema Series //
Jia Zhangke / 2015, Cannes, AFI Fest, Beijing, Bergen, Busan, Changchun, Chicago, FNC - Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Ghent, Jerusalem, Karlovy Vary, Mar del Plata, Melbourne, Miami, Minsk, Mumbai, New York, NYT Critics' Pick, Reykjavik, Rotterdam, San Sebastián, Sarasota, Seattle, Shanghai, Toronto, Vienna, Zurich / 126'
Tao, a young shopkeeper in Fenyang, is at a crossroads—she is torn between two suitors, one of whom she loves, the other of whom is wealthy. Ultimately she marries Jingsheng, hoping this choice will enable her to escape her provincial existence. Fifteen years later, Tao is divorced from her husband but materially well-off, managing his gas station in Fenyang. Jingsheng has since remarried and moved to Shanghai, taking their 7-year-old son, Daole, with him. The boy travels back to Fenyang to stay with his mother on the occasion of Tao's father's funeral; while they remain distant, Tao strives to carve out a space for herself in Daole's life. Ten years later, this drift between mother and son is still apparent, as Daole returns from his studies in Australia to Fenyang, where his mother is still waiting.
A sweeping, poignant portrait of love across generations, Mountains May Depart surveys in intimate strokes the repurcussions of technology, consumerist culture and economic growth in contemporary China. Acclaimed filmmaker Jia Zhangke's eighth feature premiered at Cannes, Karlovy Vary, and Rotterdam; Miami, where it won a Grand Jury Prize; Beijing, where it won Best Director; and San Sebastián, where it won the Audience Award. Mountains May Depart is a New York Times Critics' Pick.