Jia Zhangke

Jia Zhangke was born May 29th,1970, in Fengyang, Shanxi Province of China.

He graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and made his debut feature film Pickpocket in 1998. He is actively involved in independent filmmaking in China; the usual Shanxi set of his films signals how deeply his rural upbringing has influenced his aesthetic. His pictures Platform (2000) and The World (2004) have both been selected in official competition at the Venice International Film Festival.

Related: A conversation with Jia Zhangke

Jia Zhangke Filmography

Poster for the movie "Visit"

Visit

In “Spaces #2”, 7 internationally acclaimed directors shot, after commissioning by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, a short film at home, making their own timely comment on the new reality that we live in. The project is inspired by the book “Species of Spaces” by the French novelist, filmmaker, documentalist, and essayist, Georges Perec and the days of quarantine. The idea is to create a film at home, using the environment, the people or the … Read more

Swimming Out till the Sea Turns Blue

Filmmaker Jia Zhangke chronicles his local literature festival in Shanxi, China which includes a multi-generational roster of the country’s most esteemed writers. Prominent Chinese writers and scholars gather in a village in Shanxi, a province of China and the hometown of Jia Zhang-Ke. This starts an 18-chapter symphony about Chinese society since 1949. Narrated by three important novelists born in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s respectively, telling their own stories with literature and reality, the … Read more

Useless

Observations of three varied corners of China’s garment industry: workers in a large-scale production line factory; a designer who rallies against the mass-machine-production of clothes and has created the eponymous hand-made collection called ‘Useless’ (Wuyong) for Paris Fashion Week; and finally the simple life of increasingly out-of-work tailors in small town Fengdang.

The Bucket

What gifts would your parents prepare when your Chinese New Year visit comes to an end? A film about the taste of home shot on iPhone XS by Jia Zhangke.

Ash Is Purest White

In 2001, in the impoverished Chinese industrial city of Datong, a young dancer named Qiao falls in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs, Qiao fires a shot to protect Bin and subsequently gets sentenced to five years in prison. Upon her release, Qiao goes looking for Bin to try and start all over again.

Xiao Shan Going Home

Xiao Shan, a temporary worker at the Hongyuan Restaurant, has just been fired by his boss Zhao Guoqing. Deciding to leave Beijing and returns to his home in Anyang, he goes to see a series of people from his hometown who have also been living in Beijing-construction workers, train ticket scalpers, university students, attendant, prostitutes-but no one wants to go back with him. Dispirited and confused, he searches out one after another of his old … Read more

Mountains May Depart

Jia’s first feature shot outside his native China is a generations-spanning drama that unfolds in three parts, set in the 1990s, the present day and 2025, respectively.

Pickpocket

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn’t invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past?

A Touch of Sin

Four independent stories set in modern China about random acts of violence. Internationally acclaimed Chinese master Jia Zhangke (The World) won the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes for this startling — and startlingly violent — modern wuxia tale of four outcasts on the margins of a rapidly changing China, who channel their underclass rage into a bloody and murderous rampage.

24 City

Chengdu nowadays. The state owned factory 420 shuts down to give way to a complex of luxury apartments called “24 CITY”. Three generations, eight characters : old workers, factory executives and yuppies, their stories melt into the History of China.

Still Life

An intimate and character driven piece, STILL LIFE is the story of James Masino, a gifted Filipino painter who finds out he is afflicted with a paralyzing disease known as Guillain Barre Syndrome. Faced with a future where he can no longer paint, James leaves his life in the city and goes on a self-imposed exile to paint one last time, one final masterpiece. Unable to imagine a life without his art, he plans to … Read more

The World

“The World” is a theme park on the outskirts of Beijing, sixteen kilometers from the Chinese capital, designed around scaled representations of the world’s famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.The site is seen here not from the visitors’ point of view but through the eyes of a few of its staff, lonely people, communicating poorly, a bit disillusioned with life, glittering for the tourists but dull and restricted … Read more

Platform

The movie is set in the remote chinese province of Fenyang, and spans the turbulent 1980s by following four performers in the state-run Peasant Culture Group. We see the group evolve from workers that are restricted to approved revolutionary classics that praise Chairman Mao, through performance of western classics, after china adopts an ‘open door’ policy, and the effects on their lives.

Unknown Pleasures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Unknown Pleasures (Chinese: pinyin: Rèn xiāo yáo; literally “Free from all constraints”) is a 2002 Chinese film directed by Jia Zhangke, starring Wu Qiong, Zhao Weiwei and Zhao Tao as three disaffected youths living in Datong in 2001, part of the new “Birth Control” generation. Fed on a steady diet of popular culture, both Western and Chinese, the characters of Unknown Pleasures represent a new breed in the People’s Republic … Read more