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Directed by: Nian Liu
Runtime: 75 min
Language(s): Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Website: Official Site
Li Tong is the cutest little latchkey kid in the big city of Beijing. With her father away on business and her mother largely absent due to a demanding night shift schedule, Li Tong has developed a surprisingly strong sense of independence for her young age, diligently preparing herself every morning for her hour-long commute to school. But when Li Tong is forced to walk home one afternoon after accidentally losing her bus pass, her independence and instincts are put to the test like never before as she tries to navigate through a city in a seemingly perpetual state of transition.
Just as every corner of the modern Beijing cityscape seems like a schizophrenic mishmash of new and old, every corner of Li Tong’s epic journey home holds new surprises and extraordinary characters along the way. A cigarette-smoking panda piques her curiosity to the point that she finds herself hopelessly lost. A trendy teenage couple’s assistance only makes matters worse. And a scruffy young beggar gives her valuable lessons in street smarts and, ultimately, compassion.
Meandering through unfamiliar streets and alleyways through the eyes of a child, filmmaker Nian Liu takes us on a truly unforgettable tour of the new Beijing few people ever experience. Like Li Tong, we are forever changed by the end.
A Journey to the West
Directed by: Lawrence Chen
Runtime: 6 min
Language(s): Chinese w/ English subtitles
A slice-of-life story about a rural shoe repair man who travels to the big city in pursuit of happiness for himself and for his feet. — Christian Oh