The River of Life
Release year: 2014
Run time: 101 mins
Film type: Documentary
Yang Pingdao invents something poised delicately between fiction and documentary to capture crystallized moments in his family history, to recreate in cinematic form its emotional weight and variety, woven around the life and death of his grandmother, and the birth of his child.
Yang Pingdao is a writer and director based in Guangdong province. He was born in Yangchun, Guangdong, in 1980, and graduated in film directing from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. His documentaries have attended festivals in Beijing, Kunming, Xian, Leipzig, and London. On his incorporation of living and dead family members into his work, he says “I sensed when my grandmother was going to die… I felt powerless at that critical time, but I hope to do something this time. After a long time of deliberation, I thought the only thing I was able to do was to make a film about our family.”