Swan Song


Time Out says

Zhang Zeming's beautiful debut feature opens in the early 1960s, just before the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution, and focuses on a Cantonese composer unable to get his music published or performed. His troubles with the authorities are lifelong; he entered 'New China' with an opium habit, a black mark that cost him his job, broke up his marriage, and pushed him into the shadows, where the only people who will play his stuff are a street orchestra of blind musicians. All his hopes are invested in his son, a promising musician, who runs off as a 'Red Guard' and returns ten years later a street-smart delinquent. Tracing an elaborate pattern of betrayals and disappointments, the films avoids all taint of miserabilism. The spirit running through it is that of the music itself: haunting and elegiac, but also strong and proudly rooted in traditional Cantonese culture.


Release details

100 mins

Cast and crew

Zhang Zeming
Zhang Zeming
Liang Yujin
Lui Qianyi
Kong Xianzhu
Mo Shaoying
Chen Rui