It’s not just the unbearable heat that ushers in the rainy season which bothers 14-year-old Li Senlin. She’s also struggling to come up with a good topic for an essay at school. Inspiration finally arrives when her aunt comes to visit unexpectedly and is full of curious stories – tales that could be true, but don’t have to be.
Holidays, downtime, days hard to get a grip on. Even the setting – the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou – seems strangely timeless. Like the adolescent Senlin, we look out the window at an anonymous urban landscape whose endless rows of high-rise buildings are nevertheless surrounded by woods, lakes and caves, all shrouded in myth. An attentive camera equally happy to wander off accompanies Senlin on her forays. Aunt Qiu Xiaqiu’s yarns, which are mostly about her deceased husband and working on a barge, are spun further in these natural settings. Zhu Xin’s directorial debut increasingly develops into an interior narrative that follows a logic all of its own. Misplaced turtles and lost red flags reappear unexpectedly. As the first thunderstorms and rain clouds approach on the horizon, it’s like being caught up in a Chinese midsummer night’s dream.
People's Republic of China 2018
94’ · Colour
Jiang Li (Li Senlin, girl)Huang Jing (Qiu Xiaqiu, auntie)Chen Yan (Caiqin, mom)Li Xiaoxing (Bo)Lu Jiahe (Li Senlin, boy)
Born in Hangzhou, China in 1996. He studied Film and Television at the China Academy of Art. Man you is his first feature-length ﬁlm.Filmography
2015 Wushan Shequ (Community); 28 min. 2018 Man you
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019
Midnight Blur Films
Midday Hill Films