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Deng Wei

Release year: 2022

Run time: 96 mins

Film type: Documentary


Filmmaker Deng Wei’s grandfather Zuogui has been blind since the age of three, living most of his life as a fortune teller and raising many children. Now approaching the final chapter of his life, Zuogui lives a life of bitter discontent toward his son (and Wei’s father) Donggu, a businessman who is set on earning the respect not afforded him as a child. Donggu works as a property developer to provide his family with a good life, but when a job-site accident forces him into financial hardship, it prompts a re-examination of his priorities and values—one that may lead the father and son to finally form a bond of respect, perhaps even love.


Director biography

Graduated from the Film and Visual Arts major of The Central Academy of Fine Arts with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. He is currently a Fine Arts PhD candidate in Central Academy of Fine Arts. He also teaches at the School of Architecture, South China University of Technology. Several of his film works were screened at Cinémathèque Française, Today Art Museum, 21 Space Art Museum, CAFA Art Museum, etc.

Director's statement

Life is a spontaneous chance. From the moment each and every one of us is born into this world, we create a blood bond with others as family and relatives. This film a true story of my grandfather Zuogui, and father Donggu. Donggu is a real estate "boss" who spends most of his life building houses for other people. But against Zuogui's protest, he demolishes the old house in which Zuogui spends his life living, causing a rift between them. Zuogui is a blind man and works as a fortune-teller. He knows his predetermined fate but keeps fighting it all his life. Also knowing the fate of his son Donggu, Zuogui puts aside the past and, out of love, tries to persuade Donggu to stop his project. One side is this determined disaster, the other side is the reality of cruel reality, Donggu and Zuogui struggle between the course of China's modernization and social transformation, pondering on their life direction. When I grow up, my father grows old and my grandfather says it’s his time to go. Thankfully, I am able to record this last part of my grandfather's life, as well as images and voices of his and my father's generation on affection, love, dignity, loneliness, hometown, life, and death. When I create an emotional bond between them, I get a deeper comprehension of life. Life has its course and an end, yet the everlasting, hidden emotions are proof that we have ever been alive. They are a source of power, keeping us from fearing death.