Skip to content

The Interceptor from My Hometown

Zhang Zanbo

Release year: 2011

Run time: 90 mins

Film type: Documentary


Towards the end of 2010, I received a call from an old high school classmate, who was in Beijing on business. We hadn’t seen each other in 12 years.

He is the Vice-Mayor of my hometown now. Although he was here on a business trip, he seemed more interested in shopping and visiting friends than in work. By chance he paid a short visit to a mysterious place which he looks forward to visiting, a place that deeply impressed him with its serenity and solemnity. Even in this foot massage house, he excitedly repeated to me: “Did you know that such solemn tranquility exists?”


Director biography

Zhang Zanbo is a famous independent filmmaker in China. He graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005 with a Masters degree, and later established Asymptote Films. Consistently focusing on individual dignity and living conditions in a rapidly developing China, his documentaries have won many awards at international film festivals. His work has been reported by and reviewed in such international media outlets as The New York Times, The Economist, National Public Radio, and NHK.

He is also a freelance non-fiction writer, published in Taiwan and mainland China. His book The Road in traditional Chinese was awarded “The Best Book of 2014” by The China Times. Later, Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou presented the 2015 TIBE Book Prize to the author and the book. At the end of 2015, the simplified Chinese version of The Road was selected as the best book in the Sina Good Book Prize. As the book provoked intense discussion in the media and among the general public after its publication in mainland China, it was banned and denied further sale and reprint after two months. The publishing house was severely punished because of its inappropriate publication of this book.