Liu Jian sold off his flat and devoted three years of his life to making China’s first independent animated feature.
Liu Jian sold off his flat and devoted three years of his life to making China’s first independent animated feature, and happily the finished work lives up to its heroic back-story.
The setting is Beijing in 2008. Two boyhood friends from the same village are bobbing in the wake of the downturn. Zhang Xiaojun, the quieter of the two, has lost his job in a shoe factory and is contemplating a return to the countryside. His more street-wise mate Dahong mocks him – “I don’t want to die of a stroke for a few pieces of pork fat” – while cooking up schemes to make money. Jian’s background in illustration is written across every frame. Piercing I is beautifully composed, the stillness punctuated by moments of sudden violence with a quiet anger at corrupted authority bubbling underneath.
Piercing I will be preceded by Magma, a surreal and offbeat short set on the Faroe Islands made by Faroese duo Marianna Mørkøre and Rannvá Káradóttir.
Dir: Liu Jian
Running Time: 75mins