An award-winning independent documentary following a family in remote Guizhou over four Chinese New Year celebrations, charting life, love and loss.
Director: Lu Qingyi
Running Time: 105 mins
In Mandarin, with English and Chinese subtitles
Film Type: Documentary
Four Springs is a documentary film that presents a family’s daily life in the remote town in southern Guizhou. From a subjective angle, the camera introduces the flow of life out of the screen: the quotidian toils, singing, excursions in nature, visits among friends and extended families, funerals, reunions, and separation. It presents the state of being of the two main characters, the director’s own parents, and their attitude when facing irretrievable loss in life.
Made on a tiny budget, the debut feature-length film from director Lu Qingyi, who had no prior training film before he bought a camera and tripod back in 2013 and started shooting his own family during visits back home for Chinese New Year as part of a diary. The film attracted major attention in China and support from celebrities such as Zhao Wei, Zhou Dongyu and Huang Bo, and was a rare case of an independent documentary being released in mainstream Chinese cinemas, where it became a surprise box office hit.
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2018 – Best documentary Nomination, Best Film Editing Nomination
Xining FIRST International Film Festival – Best Documentary
About the director
Lu Qingyi was born in a multi-ethnic town in southern Guizhou. For a long period of time, cultures of the Han nationality and ethnic minorities have converged here. Later he lived in Beijing with his elder brother and began to paint. In 1997, he started to work for a publisher. He later became a photographer. He is currently an independent documentary filmmaker. Before turning to filmmaking in 2015, Lu had a raft of other jobs including working in a mine, playing soccer, and being a bar singer, painter, webpage designer and publishing editor.
“In 2012, I wrote a diary, My Father, and posted it on the Internet. Surprisingly, it spread quickly. Within two days, thousands of people expresses their great interest in and blessing to my parents. Their enthusiasm prompted me to look back at the seemingly ‘common life’ of my parents. Before the Spring Festival in 2013, I began to record fragments of my parents’ life using a Nikon D800. In 2014 my family suffered an irretrievable loss: my elder sister died of lung cancer. The family fell into endless grief. As I changed from a participant in life to an observer, I was more and more deeply moved by the open-minded, pristine philosophy of life that they revealed in their daily communication with people and nature.”
Screening in association with Fortissimo Films