Return to Dust
6:30 PM Doors
$7 SPACE or CAFAM members
134 Minutes in Mandarin with English subtitles
In rural Gaotai county, two lonely, middle-aged outcasts are pushed into an arranged marriage by their families. Ma (Wu Renlin) is a humble farmer with little to offer his timid and sickly wife, Cao (Hai Qing), except for a small abandoned house on a barren patch of land. From just a few seeds, their newly planted crops take root and flourish; and similarly, an unexpected bond between the two starts to blossom. As seasons pass their dedication to each other grows stronger, but change and adversity soon threaten the idyllic existence they share.
A tender tale about the transformative nature of love, RETURN TO DUST is an “absorbing, beautifully framed drama” (Variety) from acclaimed director Li Ruijun that became a surprise box office hit domestically in China.
“China’s leadership has a history of suppressing art that spotlights the failings of its ruling class and ideology, which is exactly what Li’s film does…That he succeeds without making it feel like homework — which is to say beautifully, humanely — is presumably what made the film so threatening.”
Austin Considine, The New York Times