Rainclouds Over Wushan
Time Out saysShot as an unauthorised indie production but finally released under the Beijing Film Studio banner, Zhang's excellent first feature has been in trouble with the Film Bureau ever since it began winning prizes abroad. Wushan is a small town on the Yangtze which will be submerged when the Three Gorges Dam comes into service. In this doomed setting, Zhang traces three disparate but intersecting lives: a river-station watchman, a hotel clerk and a young cop, all currently single but two expecting to marry soon. All three central characters are selfish but lack self-awareness; Zhang's funny/sad emphasis is on their sexual desires, frustrations and (often misplaced) hopes.