A film by Zoltan Mayer
Cast: Yolande Moreau, Jing Jing Qu, Dong Fu Lin
Liliane, a nurse in her peaceful fifties with not much happening in her life , must cope with the accidental death of her son in China. She decides to fly there in order to repatriate the body. She soon discover thought his friends the kind of person he was and learn about a different culture.
Liliane and her husband Richard (Andre Wilms) no longer have much of a marriage and spend silent evenings eating dinner in front of the TV. One day late night they get a call that their son Christopher who lives in China has died in Sichuan and the body has to be repatriated to France. Liliane tries to get the paper work going but you should know the bureaucracy it is not easy to get though it; It is like a ping-pong match. She leaves a note to her husband and lives to China to bring the body back herself. It is not easy for Liliane who knows very little english but somehow go to this small village where Christopher has made his home. Through out the villagers , the friend and the beautiful Danjie (Qu Jing Jing) Christophe’s girlfriend she was able to paint a picture of her son and what he has become.
Here is what I like in this film first Mayer who is a photographer and a documentary film maker has a different take on this film and how to tell the story of Liliane’s voyage. He avoid all clichés here and it is refreshing. Finally a film maker who understand film making. Instead of using a voice over to express Liliane inner thought to son she writes him a letter. Of course you can imagine the lost of son she is filled with pity and regrets. Keep in mind and the director has known that if you have to put in actress on the lead role you better put Moreau in it who does a wonderful job here. the other thing that I like is that characters are introduced one at the time and help her to her ordeal of losing a son. The Chinese are welcoming people and help others even if you are a different culture and Mayer demonstrate that here. The other thing is that mayer uses long shot most of thee time as well as medium shot but rarely if not ever a close up. After all it is not a big budget film from Hollywood. The cinematography is beautiful and breathtaking, outstanding even. The film is very personal here for Mayer and it shows. I can’t wait what he is going to do next.