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New film ‘Like Father and Son’ to hit the cinemas

By Cheng Yuezhu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-02-06 16:26

New film Like Father and Son hosted its premiere in Beijing on Feb 4. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

New film Like Father and Son hosted its premiere in Beijing on Feb 4 and is due to hit the cinemas on Feb 25.

Director Bai Zhiqiang, producer Tian Jiaoping and main actors Hui Wangjun and Bai Zeze attended the Q&A session after the screening.

Set in Shaanxi province in the 2000s, the film tells the story of truck driver Gou Ren and left-behind child Mao Dou, who meet under unusual circumstances and set out on a journey to find Mao Dou's father.

All actors were untrained prior to participating in the film. Bai Zeze, the young actor playing Mao Dou, was selected from a local village, and Hui Wangjun, performing as Gou Ren, was a taxi driver.

Bai previously worked on documentaries, and this film marks is his first feature film. From his documentary filming experience, he met with veteran scriptwriter Lu Wei, who serves as this film's supervisor and gave Bai suggestions on refining the script.

"Some people said that I like to film 'marginal people', but I think these ordinary people comprise the majority of China's population, yet do not get a lot of representations on the big screens," Bai said.

"Since I have access to film as a medium, 'a machine with voices', I should speak for these ordinary people and tell their stories."

A five-minute documentary about the behind-the-scenes stories was also screened at the premiere, which unveiled the difficulties the crew faced in making this film.

Both Tian and Bai said that with insufficient funding, the filmmaking was difficult, but the crew was very cheerful and determined. The film also aims to draw attention to China's migrant workers who leave the countryside for cities seeking job opportunities, and the left-behind children living in the villages with their grandparents.

The film is now available for preview in around a hundred Chinese cities. From Feb 4, the crew will go to around 20 major cities in China, sharing their stories and answering audience members' questions.

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