A Chinese movie wins Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival

20 February 2012 17 h 52 min Comments Off

There was just one feature from mainland China in this year’s Berlin Festival competition – Wang Quan’an’s “White Deer Plain”  (Bai lu yuan). On 19 February, this film managed to pick up the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, awarded to cinematographer Lutz Reitemeier for his lensing on the film.

The movie, directed by Wang Quan’an, was described by the festival as an “epic that takes place towards the end of imperial China in a period of dramatic political and social upheaval.”

Wang Quan’an is no stranger to Berlin – his earlier film “Tuya’s Marriage” (Tuya de hun shi) won the Golden Bear in 2006. His 2010 feature “Apart, Together” (Tuan yuan) also appeared at the festival and was widely acclaimed around the world.

“White Deer Plain” is based on a novel by Chen Zhongshi, which ran into censorship problems due to its explicit sex scenes. According to Beijing’s expat mag City Weekend the film took seven months to finally gain the approval necessary from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) for its forthcoming mainland released.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Wang Quan’an this week at Berlin: “There was some intervention on the part of censorship, or let’s call it ‘corrections,’ that were made. It is sometimes painful and sad — I can’t really say it’s the film I fully intended.” The same article adds that Wang “went on to say that the final cut of the film constituted about 40% of what he wanted to show audiences.”

Trailer on YouTube  Film page on Berlinale website

SOURCES: LA Times (17/02/12), screeningchina.blogspot.com (18/02/12),  Berlinale (19/02/12) 


. Berlin film festival: China’s epic ‘White Deer Plain’ premieres
LA Times 17/02/12

. Chinese epic ‘White Deer Plain’ front-runner at Berlin film fest
Straits Times Taiwan 16/02/12 

. White Deer Plain: Berlin Film Festival Review

THR 15/02/12

Pic: Producer Zhang Xiaoke and Lutz Reitemeier’s partner Anne Fleck accepted the prize on his behalf  (Berlinale)

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