In a northern Chinese city, cop Zhang Zili (Liao Fan) is working on a series of murders where body parts have been scattered over a large area; five years later, his career is in ruins, but the case is not solved. The kind of film that is bound to divide audiences. Critics will appreciate Dong Jingsong’s icy cinematography; there are several visually stunning scenes here that take great advantage of color and light and infuse the film with a brooding atmosphere. Fan shows real dedication in the lead, gaining over 40 pounds in that five-year span. The detective story, however, loses any tension it had in the last 45 minutes.
2014-China. 106 min. Color. Written and directed by Diao Yinan. Cinematography: Dong Jingsong. Cast: Liao Fan (Zhang Zili), Gwei Lun-Mei (Wu Zhizhen), Wang Xuebing (Liang Zhijun), Wang Jingchun, Yu Ailei, Ni Jingyang.
Trivia: Original title: Bai ri yan huo.
Berlin: Golden Bear, Best Actor (Fan).