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Ghost Town

Zhao Dayong

Release year: 2008

Run time: 108 mins

Film type: Fiction


This is an abandoned city now inhabited by some farmers. The people living here not only enjoy the houses and streets of the urban dwellers but also the clear blue sky and warm sun overhead. The film portrays the living conditions of the people in this abandoned city through three independent segments: "Voices of God," "Recollections," and "Innocence." Voices of God: A portrayal of the mundane family life and missionary work of two generations of missionaries. Behind the seemingly ordinary, there appears to be years of bitterness and contradictions between father and son. Recollections: A story of a passionate couple, a fractured family, and abducted women revealing the long-buried grievances in their hearts. Three different stories with different experiences share a common ending - ultimately leaving the abandoned city. Their past lives become memories. Innocence: Twelve-year-old Ah Long lives alone. He spends his days working with his friends to earn money, catching birds, playing, sometimes believing in ghosts, and sometimes in Christ. Living carefree and unrestrained.


Director biography

Zhao Dayong currently resides in New York. In his early years, he was involved in painting and later transitioned to become an advertising director in the late 1990s. In 2004, he started his independent film journey, directing both documentaries and fictions. In 2007, he released his first documentary, "Street Life," followed by the documentary "Glost Town" in 2008, and "My Father's House" in 2010. In the same year, he directed the narrative film "High Life," an experimental short film titled "Rough Poetry," and the 2014 fiction "Shadow Days." In 2018, he directed "One Says No." His works have been selected multiple times for international film festivals and have received international acclaim.

Director's statement

In the environment where I survive, people, during the Cultural Revolution, simultaneously disregarded the value of life. Greedy individuals, driven by insatiable desires, spared no effort in destroying the remnants of civilization. Faced with a past that has become unrecognizable, we can only transform history into legend. The city has undergone a complete transformation; can we still clearly see the humanity of the people living here?