SF International Film Festival screening of Three Letters from China, Swiss filmmaker Luc Schaedler's documentary overview of contemporary China. This succinct film is in 3 parts, each profiling individuals in a different part of the country. We see them go about daily tasks as they talk about their lives & concerns. In arid northern China an uncertain future weighs heavily on the family of a struggling farmer & his married son, who has left home for a dirty industrial mining job. In a picturesque village in southern China, the Cultural Revolution still casts a long shadow on the inhabitants. The filmmakers have a great find in 19-year-old Chen Chaomei, who parties & works as a waitress in the huge metropolis of Chongqing on the Yangtze River. Her father's family have always been fishermen, & her parents even live on a rickety fishing boat, but she sees no place for herself in their world. She's a free-spirit, living on her own & unashamed of her independence & her androgenous presentation. I really want to know what she'll be up to in 5 years.
The screening was introduced by festival programmer Audrey Chang, who told us that this is the final installment of the director's trilogy of films about Asia. Ms. Chang also read us the director's statement.
§ Three Letters from China
Director: Luc Schaedler
Switzerland, 2013, 80 mins.
§ The 57th Annual San Francisco International film Festival
April 29, 2014, 1:30 p.m. Sundance Kabuki Cinema
May 3, 2014, 6:30 p.m. BAM/PFA
May 5, 2014, 6:30 p.m. New People Cinema