The Broken Ridge
Release year: 2020
Run time: 96 mins
Film type: Documentary
This film depicts the life of an old couple dwelling in the deep mountains, where they live separately in their own caves, like two parallel universes that can never intersect.
Jin Jiang, artist and filmmaker, born in Luoyang, 1989. Jin dropped from school when he was in senior grade 2. He worked as DJ, sound mixer, and fried chicken shop owner. In his leisure time, he works as an artist. He does painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and performance art video. In 2013, Jin had his art show “Land of Hope.” In 2014, Jin started his filmmaking career as cinematographer and editor. Shang’ajia is Jin's first film working as a film director.
In May 2017, I went to Shanxi to meet my friends, and accidentally learned that there was an old couple living in the barren mountains all the year round. So I went to visit them, and left after having a meal together. It left a deep impression on me that they barely interacted with each other, just like two strangers, and especially the old man, who hardly spoke at all. I’ve been haunted by it since I came back: in such complete isolation, the only two people live together like strangers. What kind of life is that? To answer the question, I went there four more times, but shot nothing. It was in March 2018, when I had my sixth visit to them, that I finally decided to turn on my camera. On that day I followed the husband to the field. He suddenly paused and said to me, “We mountain people live on a mere breath.” At that very moment, all the questions that nagged me had an answer: They live, for no specific reason, but by instinct. Poverty estranged them, and in the meantime, tied them up. They cling to life as burdens, while their existence turns more like a resistance to reality.