China Focus: Already a Cannes darling, "Black Dog" makes stirring debut in China-Xinhua

China Focus: Already a Cannes darling, "Black Dog" makes stirring debut in China

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-13 00:56:30

by Xinhua writer Zhang Yunlong

BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- "Black Dog," the critically-acclaimed Chinese drama that clinched the Un Certain Regard award at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, premiered on Wednesday in Beijing.

The event, attended by a host of movie industry professionals and special guests, marked the film's first public showing in China, just three days ahead of its national release.

Directed by Guan Hu, the helmsman of blockbusters "The Eight Hundred" and "The Sacrifice," "Black Dog" follows a man released from prison who returns to his remote hometown in northwest China.

Tasked with ridding the town of stray dogs, the protagonist's mission takes an unexpected turn when he befriends one of the dogs, leading to a profound journey of redemption and companionship.

As stated in the opening credits, the film is dedicated to "all those who have endured pain and chosen to journey forward once more."

General producer Liang Jing highlighted the skepticism faced during the film's development. "When Guan decided to make this film, there were many doubting voices around him, including from me," she noted.

Reflecting on his creative mindset, Guan drew parallels between his personal journey and the film's central theme of "getting back on the road."

"When you stay in a comfort zone for too long, or when a sense of fatigue sets in, you need the courage to change your way of life," he explained, describing the film as the result of this transformative process.

The premiere was met with applause and positive reviews from critics and industry insiders alike, heightening the film's already substantial buzz.

Renowned director Huang Jianxin praised the film for its intricate portrayal of human nature, calling it a "parable" that delivers a profound emotional impact. "Every character in the film feels exceptionally real," Huang remarked.

Director Li Shaohong shared her emotional response to the film, expressing a deep resonance with Guan's desire to break free from his creative comfort zone.

"I was deeply moved by the film," she said. "'Black Dog' is a film that will not only be loved by audiences but will also make a significant cultural contribution."

The event featured a discussion with the cast and crew, shedding light on the film's production process and thematic depth.

Eddie Peng, who delivers a powerful performance as the protagonist nicknamed Er Lang, shared his perspective on the character's evolution.

"Much like Er Lang, we all have past mistakes or unresolved issues to confront, and we can face them bravely just as he does," Peng said. "Everyone will find strength in this film."

"Black Dog" has already made headlines internationally for its unique narrative and striking visual style.

Its portrayal of the protagonist's bond with a stray dog against the backdrop of broad societal changes in China offers a fresh and insightful perspective on the intersections of human and animal lives.

As anticipation builds ahead of its national release, "Black Dog" is poised to make a substantial impact on audiences across China.