Films & Schedules

  • Knitting
    Niu Lang Zhi Nu

  • Yin Lichuan

100 minutes

Production Company:
United Image Communications/ Ediam Communication Co. Ltd.
Jiao Aimin, Liu Jiang, Vivian Qu
Yin Lichuan
Production Designer:
Lou Pan
Liu Yonghong
Yan Tao
Fu Kang
Principal Cast: Zhang Yi, Yan Bingyan, Lu Yulai

International Sales Agent:

TIFF Tags: Asia  Romance  Women 

Friday September 0508:30PM AMC 6 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0711:30AM VARSITY 7 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1110:30PM AMC 3 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

The celestial love between Zhi Nu, the immortal Weaving Maiden, and Niu Lang, the poor Cowherd, has shaped the dreams of generations of Chinese. In the sophomore work of filmmaker and poet Yin Lichuan, the myth – which is tied to Chinese Valentine's Day – reverberates with nostalgia in an earthy yet gentle tale of a ménage à trois.

An unusual blend of classic drama and soap opera, Knitting's luminous strokes depict three stories of migrant youth, friendship, love, hate and survival set against the erosion of life in the outskirts of a Chinese megalopolis. Li Daping (Zhang Yi) is an introverted northern girl. With no particular skills and an obstinate love for Chen Jin (Lu Yulai), she sells tickets to the passengers of the minivan Chen drives around the dusty, sweaty streets of their southern city. Life does not seem to have much in store for Daping, but the moments of tenderness and sex stolen on the dirty roads of her daily routine are more than enough to satisfy her. Quiet, contented simplicity fills the small place she shares with Chen.

One day, however, trouble walks into Daping's life clad in a miniskirt and high heels. With red lips and cheap shades, Zhang Haili (Yan Bingyan) materializes out of Chen's dubious past. A former girlfriend of his, Haili storms into the couple's residence like a tornado of confusion, upending both their home and Chen's life. She pushes Chen into a series of shady deals and scams and sidelines Daping in her own home. In the wake of Haili's tornado, Daping is shoved into a corner – still in love with Chen, pregnant and silently knitting.

Captivating and charming, Knitting is endowed with sharp minimalism and originality. The characters in this unconventional moral saga are painted in light touches against the harshness of the social and visual background, powerfully symbolizing the fluctuating world at the margins of China's economic revolution. Incisive yet compassionate, Yin's gaze settles with imperceptible elegance on the faults and generosity of their personalities, thus rendering a crystalline image of an atypical, modern Chinese family.

Giovanna Fulvi

Yin Lichuan was born in China and studied at Peking University, majoring in French and literature. She later travelled to France to study filmmaking at l'École Supérieure Libre d'Études Cinématographiques. In 2006, she wrote and directed her first film, The Park. Knitting (08) is her second feature.

Cadillac People's Choice Award