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Ash is Purest White

Jiang hu er nv

Heartbreak and resilience fuel this quietly epic saga, in which one woman’s fortitude and knack for crime carry her through a rapidly changing China.

Dir-Scr Jia Zhang-ke
Prod Shôzô Ichiyama
With Zhao Tao, Liao Fan, Xu Zheng
China-France
2018
136min
UK Distribution New Wave Films
Subtitles

Qiao (Zhao Tao) is the humble yet sassy moll to the swaggering but fair Bin (Liao Fan), a handsome gangster in a depressed mining town. When Bin’s ballroom dancing-obsessed boss is bumped off, Bin moves up, becoming leader of the ‘Jianghu’, a brotherhood of honourable criminals. But times have changed and honour is out of fashion, so when Bin is attacked by members of a new generation of wannabe mobsters, Qiao makes a decision that will have a seismic impact upon their lives. Ambitious and inventive, Ash Is Purest White is sprinkled with pop references and even some cosmic moments. Director Jia Zhang-ke continues to surprise with his perceptive chronicles of Chinese society, aided here by a magnificent performance from Zhao Tao as the woman who cannot be stopped.

Kate Taylor


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