Rent Ash Is Purest White (2018)

3.5 of 5 from 166 ratings
2h 15min
Rent Ash Is Purest White (aka Jiang hu er nü) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Oiao (the extraordinary Zhao Tao) lives in a depressed mining town. Her boyfriend, Bin (Liao Fan), is a dashing gangster who works for a corrupt property developer. After his boss is murdered, Bin ascends in rank within the Jianghu (a criminal brotherhood) but finds himself vulnerable to rivals. When they both are arrested, Qiao makes a fateful decision: she takes the blame to save Bin. After five years in prison, she emerges to find her world has transformed. Her former associates have moved into legitimate businesses, while Bin has found another woman.
Qiao seeks revenge, but, more importantly, she searches for a new identity in a changing China - a search that will take her to Three Gorges Dam and toward a powerful revelation.
Actors:
, , , , , Jiamei Feng, , , Xuan Li, Casper Liang, , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Shôzô Ichiyama, Nathanaël Karmitz
Writers:
Zhangke Jia
Aka:
Jiang hu er nü
Studio:
New Wave Films
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Countries:
China, Drama, Romance
BBFC:
Release Date:
08/07/2019
Run Time:
135 minutes
Languages:
Mandarin
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
08/07/2019
Run Time:
135 minutes
Languages:
Mandarin
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (3) of Ash Is Purest White

Chinese Gangster's Moll - Ash Is Purest White review by JR

Spoiler Alert
05/08/2019

Qiao is a gangster's girlfriend although she often professes that she is not one of them. It's hard to like or care about her: while travelling with her boyfriend in his car, she suddenly announces she wants to drive 100km in the opposite direction to get an ice cream so they turn round and after a few kilometres she says she has changed her mind. She feels nothing for her victims when she scams men she follows into expensive restaurants, but when her ill-gotten money is stolen on a ferry by a fellow passenger, she goes nuts. But her main weakness is her blind, undying love for her criminal boyfriend. Despite being so feisty, she 'stands by her man' and admits a crime in order to save him, and spends 4 years in gaol for him.

The plot is at times shaky and the main characters seem incapable of emotional honesty or able to communicate effectively. It's a long (135 min) and frustratingly unsatisfying watch.

4 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

A new classic is born! - Ash Is Purest White review by TE

Spoiler Alert
12/11/2019

Wow! Another brilliant film from Jia Zhangke. The central performance by Zhao Tao carries the narrative with mesmerising excellence.

The story is set within the context of an ancient Chinese code of 'outsider' living, giving fresh insights into life in this increasingly powerful nation.

At the same time, it is the age old themes of love and loss that dominate, and the film has emotional echoes of 'In The Mood for Love'.

To cap it all, the cinematography is stunning, with many memorable landscapes and cityscapes.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

An intriguing insight into love and crime in today's mainland China - Ash Is Purest White review by PJ

Spoiler Alert
09/12/2019

Qiao is the girlfriend of a mob boss called Bin: together, they enjoy a lot of power in Datong, an old mining town that is in decline. From what we can see, Bin and his motley gang are involved in gambling (they run a gambling den) and real estate (with dodgy deals). Things start going wrong when Bin and his crew are challenged by a gang of young bikers. (It is never clear who they are and what they really want, by the way.)

The film is a combination of social realism (with an insight into life in provincial towns of mainland China, today) and the usual topics found in a thriller (crime, violence, gangs, etc.). But the movie is, really, a love story: that between Bin and his girl, devoted Qiao. They are an odd couple in some ways. Perhaps due to cultural factors -- how do Chinese people communicate their love and talk about their feelings, if at all? -- one gets the feeling that those 2 are never quite able to actually express their emotions in an open and mutually intelligible way. There is something of the Greek tragedy about their fate and how they interact, in muted silence (or near silence).

As a thriller, the film is not a masterpiece: it is moderately interesting. As an odd love story, it is more interesting, despite the fact so many things are left unsaid, perhaps (and probably) on purpose. The combination of the 2 produces a slightly unusual feature film. Many film critics have described it as a masterpiece. I don't think it is. Had it been an American or European film, it would most probably have got more measured and more critical reviews. In some ways, the plot is quite simple and linear.

In a way, the most interesting aspect of the film is the insight it gives into life in a provincial Chinese city today. Overall, I recommend the movie, which will surprise you, or not, as the case may be.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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