Chi­nese di­rec­tor calls

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By REUTERS in Ber­lin

Di­rec­tor Yang Chao says his film Chang Jiang Tu ( Cross­cur­rent), shown in com­pe­ti­tion on Mon­day at the Ber­lin In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, is like a love poem for one of the most im­por­tant rivers in China — and also one of its most dam­aged.

The film blends el­e­ments of the real and the sur­real as it fol­lows a quest by the young cap­tain Gao Chun, played by Qin Hao, as he steers his de­crepit hulk of a freighter up the 6,300-kilome­ter river to de­liver amys­te­ri­ous cargo.

He is also in pur­suit of a beau­ti­ful young woman, An Lu (Xin Zhilei), who may or may not be a phan­tasm, and who ap­pears at var­i­ous places along the river, some­times to make love to him, at other times to van­ish from sight.

Dur­ing the voy­age, Gao reads from a book of po­etry that is hid­den away in a spe­cial com­part­ment on the boat, while the screen flashes verses from fa­mous po­ets of Chi­nese his­tory.

“There’s a big clas­si­cal tra­di­tion ofChi­nese po­etry and suc­ces­sive Chi­nese po­ets from the Tang Dy­nasty (AD 618-907) through the other dy­nas­ties to the present day have used a va­ri­ety of ap­proaches to de­scribe, to talk about the Yangtze River,” Yang says.

“But for peo­ple in China the Yangtze River doesn’t just ex­ist on that level of cul­ture and po­etry. In the dif­fer­ent eras of Chi­nese his­tory, it also has been the most pros­per­ous belt of China. So in a way it’s a

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