Chengdu, Wo Ai Ni (Chengdu, I Love You) is to close this year’s edition of la Mostra Internationale d’Arte Cinematografica, better known as the Venice Film Festival. Filmed in tandem by Fruit Chan and China's most famous “alternative” rock star Cui Jian, the film is the first science-fiction from the People’s Republic of China and tells a dual love story between past and future. Entangling two different stories both set in the Chinese metropolis of Chengdu, the film is a satirical comedy which is set during the great earthquake of Tangshan (July 1976), and a “Matrix-like” science-fiction story that offers us a look at China in 2029.
In the episode set in 1976, directed by Fruit Chan and starring Anya and Guo Tao, the master of ceremonies in a tea house falls in love with a beautiful waitress. The long-spouted teapot, nurtures both the traditions of the tea ritual and their love. But this love is doomed to remain fruitless, as politics and the earthquake get in its way. Director Fruit Chan noted:
"I began to know Chengdu from the 5.12 Earthquake in 2008. To know more about the city, I went there. Once I got there, I realised there is a lot more about Chengdu than the usual clichés such as spicy food, pandas, and masks. Actually life in Chengdu feels remote and strange even to Chinese people.”
In the episode directed by Cui Jian with Tan Weiei and Huang Xuan, in 2029 the turbo-samba dancer Lin Miao has two wishes: the first is to find the boy who saved her during the earthquake when she was a child. The second is to track down the man who hurt her cousin. Unexpectedly, she discovers that the two people she is looking for are really one and the same. How will she reconcile love and hate?
"When passion crashes with experiences, which one is more powerful? I say passion is, just like in my film. Two good people can crash and hate each other. Their hatred is their pain. Wouldn’t it be good to release such pain in peace?”
Chengdu, Wo Ai Ni will have its world premiere screening in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on Saturday September 12, at 9:00 pm, after the awards ceremony. The 66th edition of the Venice International Film Festival is to be held at the Venice Lido from 2 to 12 September 2009.