Still Life 5 (2160x1023)
Still Life, © Xstream Pictures (2006)

ACMI presents

Focus on Jia Zhangke

Film program

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Thu 8 Feb – Sun 25 Feb 2024

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This February we focus on one of the most important filmmakers working today from China's uncompromising Sixth Generation.

Jia is simply one of the best and most important directors in the world.

Richard Brody (The New Yorker)

Born during China's Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and raised in the social and economic whirlwind of its aftermath, Jia Zhangke graduated from film school in the 1990s as part of a new crop of Chinese directors known as the Sixth Generation. Their films were made underground, tiptoeing around the Chinese Film Bureau to avoid censorship, but in doing so they also missed out on local Chinese distribution.

Dissatisfied with this, Jia along with a group of Chinese filmmakers worked with the Chinese Film Bureau to remold the Chinese independent film landscape, bringing about change and opening up funding opportunities and Chinese distribution for Sixth Generation films.

Jia Zhangke's films shine a light on the plights of Chinese people left behind by the rapid social and economic changes in the country, not to thwart progress, but to always shift our focus to his deeply humanistic concerns. From artists left behind by China's opening to the capitalist market, to coal miners left out in the cold and provincial cities forgotten through rapid urbanisation, the camera is always concerned with the people of the People's Republic.

Join us in the cinema as we celebrate the underground, champion the underdog, and experience the world through Jia Zhangke's uncompromising, critical lens.

Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)


Cinemas, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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