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Directed by Ann Hui

Hong Kong 2014 177 mins. In Mandarin

Selected as the closing night film at the Venice Film Festival, Hui’s modernist biopic tells the epic tale of Manchurian essayist and novelist Xiao Hong (1909–1941), one of the most radical and controversial Chinese female writers of the early twentieth century and an iconic historical figure. The film’s title signals the irony of the era through which Hong lived, one of the most turbulent times in Chinese history featuring a seismic shift from dynastic imperial rule to a modern state history. Through all this, Hong survives poverty, family chaos, the Japanese invasion in the 1930s, and post-war trauma. Hui’s intimate tale of history, love, loss, and poetry is beautifully brought to life by actress Wei Tang as the tenacious, enigmatic Xiao. This year’s Hong Kong submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.