Ash Is Purest White (Jiang hu er nv) | Denver Film Society | Jia Zhang-ke | China

Ash Is Purest White

Jiang hu er nv

Jia Zhang-ke

Asian, Drama, Romance

MandarinEnglish SubtitlesChina2018136 min


No upcoming showtimes scheduled.


Director Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin, DFF36; Mountains May Depart, DFF38) tackles the issues that face a transforming China in this jianghu underworld saga about two young criminals who have inherited the violent legacy of the Cultural Revolution—and yet have modeled their morals on 1980s Hong Kong gangster movies.

The steely Qiao (played by Zhao Tao, Jia’s real-life wife) is in love with Bin, a local mobster who fancies himself at the top of his game in 2001. When Bin is brutally attacked by a rival gang, it’s Qiao who fearlessly fires a gun in the middle of a crowded square to drive off her boyfriend’s assailants—and whose loyalty as she refuses to implicate him in the resulting illegal-weapons charges earns her five years in prison.

Yet upon her release, her lover is nowhere to be found. As her search for Bin takes her down the Yangtze River and past villages soon to be flooded thanks to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the ever-resourceful Qiao must draw upon the skills she picked up in prison to make her way through a rapidly changing China.

SUBTITLED (Foreign language with on-screen subtitles)

Producer: Shôzô Ichiyama | Editor: Matthieu Laclau, Xudong Lin | Cinematographer: Eric Gautier | Screenwriter: Jia Zhangke
Cast: Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Zheng Xu, Casper Liang, Xiaogang Feng
Additional Countries: France