Jia Zhang-ke, a leader of China’s newest generation of directors, attended the 63rd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) with his actress wife Zhao Tao on 31 July 2013.
His new film A Touch of Sin, which won the best screenplay award at Cannes this year, also played as part of the festival.
His film interweaves four stories adapted from real-life events. He took them from Weibo, the hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, where they had caused considerable attention and discussion.
Unlike his previous films that narrated the life of small countries in China, there are many violent elements that attack Chinese consumerism this time.
The first release of this film attracted a large audience, the line of waiting along the street. SBS described it as “unprecedented presence”. There were a few Chinese overseas students who see Jia Zhang-ke as an idol.
Wang Xi-ling, a Monash University student from China, said, “I have seen all the movies of Jia’s”.
“His movies always present the problems of China in depth.
“I should have had the opportunity to see Jia Zhang-ke four years ago when I just came here, but he quit the festival that time.
“I am excited to see a director who is from my country in Australia this time. “
Meanwhile Jia Zhang-ke’s wife, Zhao Tao, is also the leading actress in this movie and won praise by the director of the film festival. Zhao Tao portrayed a victim of violence which also called to mind the figure of the actress Cheng Pei-pei ( the Kungfu actress who was known in Crouch-ing Tiger, Hidden Dragon ) for some elder fans.
Jin is a sixty-year old woman from Hong Kong who has been living in Melbourne for thirty years.
“Previously, I was a fan of Cheng Pei-pei, but now, Zhao Tao is my idol,” she said.
“Ten years ago, I saw Cheng Pei-pei as a guest here at the MIFF. Now I am also here to see a young actress. Her look and moves are full of international style.”