A First Farewell - available NOW for our safe at-home virtual cinema viewing that'll partially support us too !

Jan 29 to Mar 31

Wang Lina - 2018/2020 - 86m - China - In Uighur & Mandarin with English Subtitles

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PART OF THE SCREENING FEES GOES TO HELPING US ALONG DURING OUR TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF PUBLIC SCREENINGS IN OUR THEATER! 

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY IN THE TIMES WE'RE IN TO SUPPORT BOTH YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT CINEMA AS WELL AS GREAT INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING!

Wang Lina’s experimental debut explores the sensitivity shared by narrative filmmaking and documenting reality, unveiling poetry from the minutiae of Uighurs' life in Xinjiang like none other. Tailing an endearing boy named Isa in Shaya, her heavenly home village surrounded by textured sand dunes and millennia-old trees, she tugs viewers' heartstrings with a story about treasures in his carefree childhood and how they gradually fade away, as love, home, and personal advancement get weighed against another for this generation of minority children, who must bid many farewells to assimilate into the more widely acknowledged best life.

"(A) First Farewell thrives on humanity rather than dogma, and offers poetry rather than propaganda. Bolstered by lush imagery and, perhaps more importantly, immensely naturalistic performances from its non-professional child actors, the film conjures up a quietly heartbreaking drama that works on multiple levels." - Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter

"Stunning images of seasonal change enhance the film’s themes of loss and upheaval... “Farewell” treats viewers to memorable views of lush greenery, winter snowfalls, and lonely trees somehow surviving in otherwise barren stretches of desert...Wang's film is an emotionally rewarding glimpse into challenges faced by this Muslim minority." - Richard Kuipers, Variety

"As captivating a debut anyone could dream of making...a painter-poet manifests superbly in this visual love-letter to Xinjiang. Whilst the loss of innocence would firmly render this a coming-of-age story, Wang’s film is distinctly not this. Her firm yet delicate handling of the subject matter is sensitive to the community as a whole." - James Cansdale-Cook, Asian Movie Pulse

“...might be another sign of independent cinema revival in China...Wang Lina avoids stereotyping and exoticization shows the region in a whole different way. In A First Farewell Uyghurs are not strangers in their own homeland, but flesh and bone protagonists with their own motivation and agency.” - Maja Korbecka, EasternKicks

"Dedicated to her hometown of Shaya, Xinjiang, and filled with both affection and a clear-eyed understanding of its woes, this Uighur-language coming-of-age story is restrained in scale yet rousing in emotional impact." - Sarah Ward, Screen International

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A First Farewell - available NOW for our safe at-home virtual cinema viewing that'll partially support us too ! poster