Ash Is Purest White

2018 | Drama | 136 minutes | Jin Chinese and Mandarin with English subtitles


Qiao is Bin’s girlfriend. Bin is the local gangster involved in borderline crime while running a mahjong parlor. While Qiao and Bin were driving  one night, a group of thugs on motorcycles attack them They  beat Bin. Qiao grabs Bin’s handgun from the back of the car and fires two warning shots in the air.That’s enough to scare away the thugs.  The police arrive and inform Qiao that the gun is illegal and they ask about its ownership. Qiao takes the rap for her boyfriend and serves five years in prison. When Qiao is released from jail, she tries to reach Bin. He now has a new girlfriend. He tells Qiao he’s a changed man and does not want to see her anymore. Qiao is furious. After all she saved Bin’s life when the thugs attacked him and, furthermore, she  took the rap for him. But both Qiao and Bin realize that the relationship is over. Years later Qiao gets a call from Bin. He wants to see her. He is currently in a wheelchair, unable to walk. He had a stroke so Qiao locates a doctor to rehabilitate him. When Bin can walk again, he leaves a message on Qiao’s answering machine that he’s going away. In fact, he’s gone! 

Zhao Tao (Zhao Qiao) / Liao Fan (Guo Bin)
Why Stream This Film?
Justin Chang, the film critic for the Los Angeles Times, pointed  out how in previous films, director Jia Zhangke depicted life in 21st century China to be as surreal as science fiction.  However, Justin, also stated,  in Ash Is Purest White,  life in China  can also be a sublime romantic tragedy. So, how can you not stream this film?
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 99%
  • Metacritic Score: 85
  • Cannes Film Festival: Selected to compete for the Palme d’Or
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Winner, Best Actress (Zhao Tao)
No one makes movies like Mr. Jia Zhangke. He’s a dramatist with the eye of a documentarian and the instincts of a historian, even a geographer. But he’s also a romantic poet, and his heroine, a strong woman with a pure heart, is driven by love as far as it can take her.
Joe Morgenstern

The Wall Street Journal

Jia Zhangke’s movies, fictional and nonfictional alike, document the transformation of cities, landscapes and ways of life as those upheavals affect families, couples, and groups of friends. Jia’s new film, ASH IS PUREST WHITE, is enthralling.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

ASH IS PUREST WHITE depicts both the director and his lead actress at the peak of their powers. The movie is always a pleasure to behold.
Glenn Kenny

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