Ash Is Purest White

Ash Is Purest White

Jia Zhang Ke (2018)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Jean-Luc Godard once claimed that all one needed to make a film was "a girl and a gun" and Jia Zhang Ke takes him at his word in this social-realist crime saga, as miner's daughter Zhao Tao's life changes the moment that gangster lover Liao Fan hands her a weapon beside a volcano and she becomes bound by the tenets of the Jianghu code. In many ways, this is a companion piece to Mountains May Depart (2015), as the action takes place over two decades and explores the couple's contrasting fortunes after Zhao goes to jail for using the gun to fight off the young pretenders to Liao's empire and returns to find him much changed. With French cinematographer Eric Gautier using different formats to capture the temporal shifts, the sprawling scenario allows Jia to use the run-down mining locale of Datong and the villages around Fengjie, threatened with submersion to create the Three Gorges dam, to muse upon the spiritual price that China paid for its economic leap forward.

Cast & Crew

Qiao Zhao Tao
Bin Liao Fan
Casper Liang
Feng Xiaogang
Jiadong Diao Yinan
Zhang Yibai
Director Jia Zhang Ke
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Other Information

Language: Mandarin +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: New WaveGuidance: ViolenceReleased on: 26 Apr 2019