Friday, February 12, 2010


Lisa Lu Yin

Yu Nan, Renee Zellweger
courtesy of

The Berlin Film Festival on Thursday night opened with the Chinese film APART TOGETHER's global premiere. Director Wang Quan'an in the film described the mental state of an old Kuomintang soldier who returned to the Mainland home and wife. Veteran actors Ling Feng and Lisa Lu Yin were exciting in their scenes.

Based on a real story about a retired soldier who returned to his Shanghai home and look for his long lost wife. Two gray haired seniors reignite their romantic flame. The old soldier planned to take his former flame to Taiwan, while his wife who remarried was stuck between the romantic memories of her youth and the relationship of an aging couple. Her family thus suffered a tremendous impact.

Winning the Golden Bear prize three years ago with TUYA'S MARRIAGE in Berlin, Wang Quan'an this time selected Shanghai, the exchange place of the new and the old, as the background to continue the concern that the previous film had about Chinese people's heart in the drastic changes of the city. Wang Quan'an expressed that no matter what, reunion was the highest pursuit of the Chinese people, particularly in Berlin. The film festival selected such less than a cheerful film as its opening film, which was very dignified. Germany Ministry of Culture Bernd Neumann during the opening ceremony particularly stated that since its creation 60 years ago the Berlin Film Festival has had the tradition of opening itself for films around the world to participate. APART TOGETHER as the opening film this year showed the Berlin Film Festival itself as a bridge for cultural exchange.

What has Wang Quan'an planned for the Lunar New Year's Eve? He would take the chance to reunite with Chinese people there and celebrate the Spring Festival. For his special program though, "Berlin will screen A SIMPLE NOODLE STORY during the Spring Festival, I will go and watch." Zhang Yimou won the Golden Bear with RED SORGHUM and In 2000 he again won the Silver Bear with THE ROAD HOME. Thus, Zhang Yimou shot a special six minute short film to celebrate Berlin's anniversary. "The Berlin International Film Festival has the deepest origin with me, it is also the film festival that I miss and give thanks to the most. My first film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, that prize perhaps changed my entire life."

APART TOGETHER, the opening film that is purely about a Chinese family's reunion and breakup unveiled the entire film festival. Many foreign reporters was attracted to this film's reserved emotions and the Chinese film's dinner table culture. The silver haired female lead Lisa Lu Yin and young and sexy co-star Monica Mok Siu Kei killed many foreign press' film.

Risen to the international film scene with TUYA'S MARRIAGE, Yu Nan shone at the opening ceremony. This year's Berlin Film Festival has a strong Chinese film contingent. Aside from the two films in competition, at least ten Chinese films have been scattered all over the film festival. Hong Kong director Alex Law Kai Yui's ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW (SHUI YUET SUN TAU) entered the Generation Kplus section; the Yuen Woo Ping directed TRUE LEGEND (SO HAK YI) and the Jackie Chan and Wang Leehom starred LITTLE BIG SOLDIER also entered the Berlinale Special section; Taiwan director Arvin Chen's AU REVIOR TAIPEI and Hou Chi-Jan's ONE DAY entered the Forum section and will compete for the a first work prize. The Scud (Wan Cheung) directed AMPHETAMINE also qualified for the Teddy Bear award.

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