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Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang(Jia Zhangke, Um Homem de Fenyang)

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Brazil, France · 2014
1h 40m
Director Walter Salles
Starring Jia Zhangke, Wang Hongwei, Zhao Tao, Han Sanming
Genre Documentary

Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke returns to the shooting locations of his films, along with his actors, friends and close collaborators, and recalls what inspired them. A memoir of a filmmaker and his relationship to a country in convulsion, China, which reveals itself little by little.

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Village Voice by Calum Marsh

This is portraiture for the Zhangke-acquainted. Admirers will find much of interest here, as Salles, scrupulously self-effacing, affords Jia the latitude to think and talk at his leisure — to speak at length, and candidly, about his work and what informs it.


Slant Magazine by Carson Lund

Walter Salles reinforces the impression of Jia's own art as emerging fluidly from the vagaries of his own life and socioeconomic position.


The Hollywood Reporter by Clarence Tsui

More than just mining the past, Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang is fuelled by an anxious look toward the future - not just Jia's, but also that of his profession and his people as China marches on to the state-controlled drumbeat of economic liberalism and tight political control.


The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

The movie’s most moving sequence is near the end, when Mr. Jia discusses his father, who faced awful hardships during the Cultural Revolution.

50 by Godfrey Cheshire

While Salles’ portrait gives a very incomplete account of the man and his art, it pays tribute to a filmmaker who remains among the medium’s foremost and most fascinating creators.


Variety by Guy Lodge

An intelligent, restrained but warmly intimate cinematic conversation with the Sixth Generation Chinese trailblazer.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

The problem with art like Jia’s is that a straightforward approach isn’t going to reveal anything that isn’t already there in the work or document anything that the movies don’t already document themselves. And why settle for second-hand when you can just go and watch the real thing?

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