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Dahufa is wandering through a mountain kingdom in search of his prince who, rather than rule his country, prefers to spend his time enjoying its foggy, picturesque landscapes. During the search, Dahufa finds himself in a weird little town inhabited by silent, rather unfriendly Peanut Men. He soon discovers that their land holds many more nasty surprises.
Busifan's dark, surreal tale bewitches with its elaborate aesthetics, rooted in the traditional ink painting, the works of the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, and the dark elements of the films by Hayao Miyazaki. The director uses these, and many other inspirations to create auteur images, which are at the same time delightfully sweet and drastically cruel. The producers willingly agreed to assign the film a PG-13 rating, warning the audiences of its brutal contents. The tale of a dystopian land ruled by an authoritarian prince was, surprisingly enough, not banned by the Chinese censors. Only after its premiere, the Communist Youth League criticized the film for its "malicious political metaphors," which added to the film's popularity.
The intelligent political irony is one of "Dahufa's" many strong suits. The atypical pace of narration, the clever play with the convention of traditional warrior stories, its abstract humor, and a pantheon of bizarre characters make the film hard to categorize. It keeps surprising the audiences, proving that independent Chinese cinema still has a lot to offer.
(Yang Zhigang) started out as a creator of comic books, but in the middle of the 2000s he started working with flash animation, which was popular at the time. He became a successful creator of webtoons, animated shorts published online. "Dahufa" is his full-length debut, made thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.
2009 Mee’s Forest (kr.m.)
2017 Strażnik Dahufa / Da Hu Fa