Knife in the Clear Water

Xuebo Wang
on vod
release date:

Here a story is told with great intensity and poetry, with silent characters who only need one word.

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A woman is buried with the Muslim Hui Chinese in northwestern China. Her husband and son with wife and children are left behind. They live in the open countryside and are very poor. They only have a few chickens and a bull. The son wants to sacrifice the bull at a ceremony in honor of his mother. The father visibly has difficulty with that, but respects his wish.The bull feels his death and stops eating and drinking. He sees "the knife in the clear water" that he is supposed to drink.

direction
Xuebo Wang
duration
92 min
release date
year
2016
country
China
language
Mandarin

The final shots take one’s breath away, transporting audiences into a symbolic realm where the old man’s inner landscape mirrors the barren, snow-blanketed exterior, inviting viewers to wonder whether he is at peace or has his heart frozen after losing everything.

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