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Tang Shan Da Di Zhen

Feng Xiaogang

  • Country: China
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Producer: Wang Zhongjun, Guo Yanhong, Han Sanping
  • Executive Producer: Wang Zhonglei, Chen Kufu
  • Screenplay: Su Xiaowei
  • Runtime: 128
  • Programmes:

The most successful Chinese movie of all time, Aftershock is based on the novel of the same name by Chinese Canadian author Zhang Ling. An intimate epic, the film sweeps across three crucial decades in recent Chinese history and explores the resilience of a family devastated by 1976 Tangshan earthquake.

AdaptationChinaDramaFamily Relations

screening times

official description

An epic human drama set in motion by events beyond our control, Aftershock sweeps across three crucial decades in recent Chinese history. Acclaimed director Feng Xiaogang’s highly anticipated new film opens and closes with Tangshan and Chengdu, two of the most severe earthquakes ever witnessed. As dramatized in the novel of the same name by Chinese Canadian author Zhang Ling, this story explores the wounds and resilience of a family decimated by loss.

The hot summer night of July 28, 2021 falls on the unsuspecting town of Tangshan, where two seven-year-old twins – born before the introduction of China’s one-child policy – enjoy a typical sibling relationship. Their affectionate quarrels slowly subside into the darkness as they fall asleep amid the modern coolness of a newly purchased electric fan. But during the night, the earth begins to tremble. The children awake to the cries of their mother and the urgent, unthinkable question of a rescue worker: “Who should be saved: the girl or the boy?” Trapped under the same slab, digging out one would inevitably result in collapsing the wreckage onto the other. In a whisper, their mother mutters, “The boy.” Considered dead, the girl is laid to rest next to her father’s corpse, but unexpectedly wakes up the following day as an orphan (beautifully played as an adult by rising star Zhang Jingchu) and tries to adjust to a new life within the loving care of the family who adopts her.

As their two lives take different paths over the years, Aftershock uses the core story of the earthquake to explore a controversial issue in Chinese culture – the preference for a son over a daughter – while exploring such complex subjects as survival, family relationships, guilt and post-traumatic stress with equal sensitivity. Feng transforms his characteristically acute and ironic observations of contemporary China into sharp historical analysis. Painting an emotional epic with potent strokes of truth, he has brought to life a new model of disaster cinema that is intimate, choral and uniquely Chinese.

Giovanna Fulvi

director bio

Feng Xiaogang was born in Beijing . He worked as a production designer and screenwriter on several Chinese features and as a television director before establishing himself as one of China ’s most successful contemporary directors. His feature films include Lost My Love (94), Dream Factory (97), Be There or Be Square (98), A Sigh (00), Big Shot’s Funeral (02), Cell Phone (03), A World Without Thieves (04), The Banquet (06), Assembly (07), If You Are the One (08) and Aftershock (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Xu Fan, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Chen Daoming
Wang Zhongjun, Guo Yanhong, Han Sanping
Executive Producer:
Wang Zhonglei, Chen Kufu
Lu Yue
Xiao Yang
Wu Jiang
Wang Liguang
Production Designer:
Huo Tingxiao
International Sales Agent:
 Huayi Brothers Media Corporation
Production Company:
Huayi Brothers Media Corp.
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