Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Bing Lang Xue

The Taste of Betel Nut

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Li Qi is working for a dolphin show, his friend Ren Yu chugs along with his mobile karaoke, working the surfers’ beach along the coast of Hainan Island where they both live. The tourists are delighted by Ren’s physical similarity to the screen actor Leslie Cheung and are happy to pay for a photo with him – or to get drunk with him. When a young woman joins this polyamorous couple, things are no different at first and an open, three-way relationship would seem possible. Together, Li Qi, Ren Yu and Bai Ling set out to test the limitations of a restrictive society as well as their own sexuality. But then, something happens that rocks the protagonists to the core and will have a deep and lasting effect on them ... Director Hu Jia portrays a generation that would appear to move casually between tradition and a courageously alternative way of life. The film’s unusual setting is compelling from the word go. Largely without dialogue, this drama instead relies on small gestures that are full of meaning. The film’s quietly explicit images tell a tale of love, sex, trust and brutality – providing a picture of everyday life in China that is seldom seen on the big screen.

Hu Jia

Hong Kong, China 2017


84’ · Colour


Zhao Bing Rui (Li Qi)
Yue Ye (Ren Yu)
Shen Shi Yu (Bai Ling)


Written and Directed by
Hu Jia
Jean-Baptiste Ducros
Ye Xiang, Tian Fei
Sound Design
Lou Kun
Zhang Fengchen
Production Design
Shu Xingjia
Wang Letong
Wang Letong
Dian Dian
Assistant Director
Wang Haoran, Antoine Herve
Production Managers
Sun Bo, Sun Da
Sun Wei


Hu Jia

Born in Xin Jiang, north west China in 1979, he later moved to Shanghai before studying film in France. His debut feature film Dance With Me screened at the FIRST International Film Festival in Xining, China in 2014 where it was nominated for Best Narrative Feature, Best Director and Best Performance in a Leading Role. Bing Lang Xue (The Taste of Betel Nut) is his second feature-length film.


2014 Dance With Me 2017 Bing Lang Xue (The Taste of Betelnut)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

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