The first trailer for Mountains May Depart was released last week and the Cannes nominee looks to be one of the more interesting films of the year. It is directed by Jia Zhang-ke.
The official synopsis is as follows:
At once an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic that leaps from the recent past to the present to the speculative near-future, Jia’s new film is an intensely moving study of how China’s economic boom – and the culture of materialism it has spawned – has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love. MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART opens in 1999 to the strains of the Pet Shop Boys’ “Go West,” a song whose promise of blue skies captures the dreams of affluence that seized so many Chinese youth at the turn of the century. In Fenyang, childhood friends Liangzi, a coal miner, and Zhang, the owner of a gas station, are both in love with the town beauty Tao (a luminous Zhao Tao, Jia’s muse and wife). Tao eventually marries the wealthier Zhang and they have a son he names Dollar. As the years fly by and some members of the cast do, indeed, “Go West,” Tao tries to keep her home and that sense of optimism alive even as her own son loses sight of everything in his childhood, save one mysterious song that haunts him. Lyrical, moving, and dazzlingly ambitious, MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART is one of the year’s most important films.
The film shifts between three different timelines, which is an interesting concept since it spans multiple years and will pick up with characters at different points in their lives. It also looks to be visually stunning and carries some great performances.
Mountains May Depart begins by suggesting some kind of distraction and obsession towards western capitalism; stereos and cars, the whole idea of “going west”. It ends in a place where life is seemingly constructed out of such material things, for even communication between a father and a son – hilariously given the name Dollar by his materialistic patriarch – is impossible without technology.
Mountains May Depart does not have a North American release date yet, but is expected to come out in 2016.