Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Xu Zheng
The year 2001. Upon falling for small-time gangster Bin (Fan Liao), quick-witted dancer Qiao (Tao Zhao) becomes embroiled in a war between rival street gangs. Pulling out a gun to protect her boyfriend and serving five years behind bars for the act, Qiao embarks on a journey to rekindle her relationship with Bin once more.
Jia Zhangke's gloriously tragic drama is an arresting, complex gem - using this early 21st century story to echo the relentless tide of capitalism in China - and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
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"With Ash is Purest White, the always surprising, habitually envelope-pushing film-maker Jia Zhang-ke gives us a complex romantic tragedy from China's aspirational gangster-classes." ★★★★ - Guardian
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