$15 General Admission, $12 Member, $10 child age 14 or younger
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A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld-setting, ASH IS PUREST WHITE is less a gangster movie than a melodrama. With a three-part structure, it begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Tao Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Fan Liao) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives, and continues Jia Zhangke’s body of work as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations.
“Fascinating in its balance between microcosm and aerial view, but the performances definitely raise more emotional heat.” – Little White Lies
“This is one of Zhangke’s peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you’ve seen before.” – Chicago Tribune
“‘Ash Is Purest White’ forces audiences to stop, stand still, and question what’s lost in the wake of China’s fast march forward.” – Cinema Escapist