China, 2017 (MIFF 2018, New Voices from China)

Director: Zhou Ziyang

A triple award winner at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival, Old Beast is an engaging, gritty and gorgeously shot family drama about an out-of-control patriarch in a Chinese ghost town.

Gambling, flaunting his mistress around town, cheating his only friend: Lao Yang (Tu Men) might be in his 60s, but he shows no signs of acting his age. Instead, the shady businessman thunders around the industrial outpost of Ordos with the confidence of someone much younger and considerably more successful. Even when he’s caught stealing the money for his hospitalised wife’s urgent surgery, and forced to face the ire of his angry adult children, the untrustworthy patriarch just can’t see the error of his ways.

Produced by Wang Xiaoshuai (Red Amnesia, MIFF 2015; 11 Flowers, MIFF 2011; Shanghai Dreams, MIFF 2004) and winning the FIPRESCI Prize at the Golden Horse Film Festival, among other awards, Old Beast marks the first feature from writer/director Zhou Ziyang. Shot with documentary-like cinematographic naturalism, the involving drama blends a rousing character study with a scathing portrait of China’s boom-or-bust fortunes, complete with a complex, intricate performance from its veteran star.

"An exceptionally performed depiction of Inner Mongolia’s destructive economic ebbs and flows trickling down to a personal level." – Screen International

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