China | 2020 | Debut Feature
Director: WANG Xide
Screenwriter: WANG Xide
Producer: SI Niang
Cinematographer: SONG Wenxiang, QIAN Xiaoyi
Editor: CHENG Zhijin, WANG Xide
Sound Designer: ZHANG Jingzi
Starring: YING Ze, MU Ruini
Gu Qing, a silent tailor in her 30s, lives in a small town in Southern China by her own. Her life is mundane and repetitive, until one day, her niece Sun Yue comes from afar and starts to learn the craftsmanship from her.
A CHAT reveals three generations of women coping with their own grief and loss and trying to reconcile with themselves in a reunion at the end. The performance is extremely restrained during the entire film, through which Southern Chinese women’s unique dispositions have been fully displayed through actors’ movements, tones, and costumes. Meanwhile, first-time director WANG Xide successfully captures the touching moments that show the vulnerability and strength of women and mothers.
We could spot a certain style that derives from Japanese Cinema, represented by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Naomi Kawase, in A CHAT: slow pacing, elaborate compositions and framing, and its ability to unfold the sincerest emotions through daily life interactions. As the title indicates, this film is made up of small chats between characters, and these chats, either formal or casual, important or unmeaningful, build up to the moment when the two leading protagonists each having conversations with their inner selves.
Wounds buried in the memories and hopes for the future come together, and the gradually deepening family bonds become the foundations for their self-exploration and self-healing process. A CHAT gently unfolds stories of hurt and sorrows, but instead lead us to reconnect and revisit our relationships with ourselves, as well as provide us the strength to reconcile and move on.
H!Action Project Market
Finalist Project 2020
WANG Xide majored in Film theory at Bournemouth University, UK. He is currently based in Changzhou, China, a small city built and developed by the riverside of the Great Canal, where he was born and raised. After engaging in different jobs, he returned to filmmaking, which inspires him the most in his whole life. A CHAT is Wang's debut feature.