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Ripples of Life

Yong an Zhen Gu Shi Ji
dir. Shujun Wei
China 2021, 123’
subtitles: Polish and English

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Polish premiere
Theatrical Screenings
St 18 Nov, 15:30
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
Su 19 Nov, 17:00
Kinoteka 3
Kinoteka 3
Awards and festivals
Brussels International Film Festival 2021 - International Competition (Jury Award) Pingyao International Film Festival 2021: Best Director (Fei Mu Awards), Youth Jury Award (New Generation China) World premiere: Cannes Directors’ Fortnight
China 2021
Duration: 123’
director: Shujun Wei
screenplay: Kang Chunlei, Wei Shujun
cinematography: Wang Jiehong
editing: Mathieu Laclau
music: Tu Duu-chih
cast: Yang Zishan, Huang Miyi, Liu Yang, Kang Chunlei
producer: Huang Xufeng, Liang Ying
production: Factory Gate Films
language: Mandarin
colouration: colour

Film description

Nothing ever happens in the Chinese province, so the arrival of a film crew hoping to shoot a movie that will make its way to the festival circuit causes quite a stir. Everyone knows real life can only be found in small towns – independent cinema loves stories set in the peripheries. The film's best hope for success is hiring a risings star of Chinese cinema, returning to her hometown to proudly represent her region. But nothing goes according to plan – the conflicts in the crew escalate, the script is still unfinished, and for the star, returning home is an unwanted reminder of her past, so she might have to be replaced by a waitress from a local diner. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here – the Chinese dream factory is no longer making art, its products are more akin to soap operas overflowing with problems and intrigues.

The novella-structured "Ripples of Life" talk about the hardships of collective filmmaking. Wei offers an in-depth look at the process, deconstructing the myth of the auteur. Everyone is subjected to the merciless critique – the crew, the cast, the film critics, and the small-town upstarts. The sword of irony doesn't spare even the Korean master Hong Sang-soo, whose spirit hovers over Wei Shujun's distorted mirror.

Łukasz Mańkowski

Shujun Wei

Born in 1991. Film director who started off as an actor and a rap artist. The only Chinese filmmaker with all three feature films screened at Cannes. His second movie "Ripples of Life" was made by accident, without a plan, but was immediately praised by critics. It is a record of the director's struggle at the film set, ironically portraying the specific world of Chinese independent productions.


2020 Krocząc pod wiatr / Ye ma fen zong / Striding Into the Wind
2021 Strzępy życia / Yong an Zhen Gu Shi Ji / Ripples of Life
2023 Tylko rzeka płynie / He bian de cuo wu / Only the River Flows

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