Films We Like Presents...

(Shan He Gu Ren

A film by
Jia Zhang-Ke

Official Selection, Cannes 2015

North American Premiere at 2015 Toronto International Film Festival - Special Presentation

“It’s because I’ve experienced my share of ups and downs in life that I wanted to make “Mountains May Depart”…..Buddhist thought sees four stages in the flow of life:  birth, old age, sickness and death.  I think the ultimate point of this film is to say:  Whatever times we live through, none of us can avoid experiencing those stages, those difficult moments.” -Jia Zhang-Ke, Director, Screenwriter -  “Mountains May Depart”

China, 1999.  In Fenyang, childhood friends Liangzi, a coal miner, and Zhang, the owner of a gas station, are both in love with Tao, the town beauty.  Tao eventually marries the wealthier Zhang and they have a son he names Dollar.

2014.  Tao is divorced and her son emigrates to Australia with his business magnate father.

Australia, 2025.  19 yr-old Dollar no longer speaks Chinese and can barely communicate with his now bankrupt father.  All that he remembers of his mother is her name…….

China’s economic development began to skyrocket in the 1990s.  Living in this surreal economic environment has inevitably changed the ways that people deal with their emotions.  The impulse behind this film is to examine the effect of putting financial considerations ahead of emotional relationships.  If we imagine a point ten years into our future, how will we look back on what’s happening today?  And how will we understand “freedom”?

He was born in Fenyang, Shanxi, in 1970 and graduated from Beijing Film Academy. His debut feature Xiao Wu won prizes in Berlin, Vancouver and elsewhere. Since then, his films have routinely premiered in the major European festivals. Still Life won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2006, and A Touch of Sin won the Best Screenplay prize in Cannes in 2013. Several of his films
have blurred the line between fiction and documentary. He has also produced films by many young directors, and has made cameo appearances in films for other directors. In 2015, Jia Zhangke returned to Cannes for the World Premiere of his eighth film “Mountains May Depart” an Official Selection and to receive the Carrosse d’Or Prize (Golden Coach).

As well as presenting the North American Premiere of “Mountains May Depart” at TIFF 2015, Jia Zhang-ke joins directors Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland on the inaugural jury for Platform, TIFF’s the new programme to champion directors’ cinema from around the world.  Inspired by Jia Zhang-ke’s groundbreaking 2000 film “Platform”  , they will award a prize of $25,000 to the best film in the programme. 

“Mountains May Depart “ is distributed in Canada by Films We Like

About Films We Like: Founded by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ron Mann, Films We Like is a boutique distributor of documentary, independent and international films in Canada.

Running time: 131 minutes
Mandarin with English subtitles, & English

For more info and to download press notes and images:

Media Contact:
Virginia Kelly, Meghan Parnell        
V Kelly & Associates