Unlike the other young people, Hou Junli has not left for the city but has remained with his family in their forlorn mountain village. Just as elsewhere in the country, members of the younger generation living in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi must leave their homes because traditional work can no longer provide them a sustainable wage. The dilapidated houses continue to resist the snow and rain, but how long can the village survive if all family ties have been severed? This long-term observational documentary presents an engaging and comprehensive look at one year in the life of humble people who love their birthplace despite its harsh realities.
Dir. Liu Feifang - 172min - China - 2019
"This film presents the current social issues, that is, the decline of Chinese rural regions and the consequent conflicts between the development of the times and the backwardness of rural life." - Liu Feifang introduces his film on the www.truestoryfilm.blog
"An epic, magnificently shot chronicle...This place and this way of life may be dying, but Liu’s gorgeous first film staves off the fading-away for just a few moments. And it’s hard to begrudge the village a single verse of its farewell song, when like any entity facing its end, all it can do is remind us with its refrain: “I was here. I was here.” - Variety
" A long-term observational documentary about a difficult life and the love of one’s native soil." - Karlovy Vary IFF.
"stands out for its stunning cinematography...its dynamic and nuanced observational approach...make for a rewarding and worthwhile cinematic experience." - Cineuropa