No. 89 Shimen Road (Hei Bai Zhao Pian)

SHU Haolun, China (2010).
Narrative, 85 minutes. Mandarin and Shanghai Dialect w/ English subtitles.

16 year-old Xiaoli lives in a communal block on Shimen Road, a close-knit neighborhood that no longer exists in Shanghai.It’s the late 1980s; while his teachers talk about China’s recovery from the devastation of the Cultural Revolution, another wave of cultural change is already underway, as Xiaoli encounters Western businessmen, Coca Cola bottles and other foreign elements on the streets. The allure of new cultures and ideas sweeps through Xiaoli and the two young women closest to him. His best friend Lanmi carouses with foreigners, scandalizing the neighborhood. Lili, an idealistic classmate whom he loves, wants to quit school and join the student democracy demonstrations that have started in Beijing. Xiaoli must decide where his future lies in a world suddenly robbed of stability and innocence.

Building from his acclaimed documentary Nostalgia, which commemorated the now-demolished neighborhoods of Shanghai, Shu Haolun’s first dramatic feature vividly resurrects the experience of social and cultural awakening in China during the 1980s. Shu weaves a rich tapestry of memory using multiple devices, including still photography, richly textured cinematography, and an elaborately recreated milieu rich with characters. No. 89 Shimen Road not only vividly recalls an era of China’s history, but a crisis in values affecting its youth that resonates with the present.

Director’s Bio:

SHU Haolun

Select Film Festivals:

  • Winner, NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film, Warsaw International Film Festival
  • Pusan International Film Festival, Korea – Official Selection
  • Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, Hong Kong – Official Competition
  • Marrakech International Film Festival, Morocco – Official Competition
  • World Film Festival of Bangkok – Official Selection
  • Sao Paulo International Film Festival – New Filmmaker Competition
  • International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg – International Competition
  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival – Official Selection

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