Asia Society Film Recap: Fujian Blue

Fujian Blue (dir. Robin Weng)

Concluding our recap of the Asia Society series “China’s Past, Present and Future on Film,” here is an excerpt from a full-length review by Joe Bendel of Robin Weng’s acclaimed feature Fujian Blue:

Port towns have a certain unsavory reputation, which the cities of Fujian Province amply fulfill. Home of the “Golden Triangle of illegal immigration,” China’s Fujian is also a border region, neighboring nearby archipelagos controlled by the Republic of China. Not surprisingly there is a lot of money to be made in Fujian, but nearly always at someone else’s expense. Indeed, it is an environment marked by corruption and exploitation that emerges in Robin Weng’s Fujian Blue.

Like nearly all of the films in the Asia Society series, Weng’s approach is unsentimentally naturalistic. However, Blue still has a strong narrative structure. The cast is also quite convincing in a way that is somewhat disturbing, given the film’s documentary-like realism and their characters’ morally questionable natures. Yet, what really distinguishes the film is its strong sense of place, depicting a Fujian where McMansions, red-light districts, slums, and the rocky natural beauty of the coastline exist nearly side-by-side.

While most of the films in the Asia Society series reflect the aesthetics of the Jia Zhangke-influenced “Digital Generation” (or d-generate), the selected films taken as a whole represent China’s geographic diversity quite well. Offering pointed social commentary and an unvarnished tour of Fujian, Blue is a strong conclusion to an ambitious film series.

Read the full review.

Also read Mike Fu’s exclusive review on our site.

Watch clips from Fujian Blue below:

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