Another Year, dir. Shengze Zhu, China 2016, 181 min., Chinese (Hubei dialect) with English subtitles
Shengze Zhu’s second feature-length documentary screens to coincide with ICA CINEMA’s release of the director’s 2019 film Present.Perfect.
Set in Wuhan in Central China, Another Year captures a migrant family’s life over the course of a year through the meals they share. Beginning and ending around Chinese New Year, the meals unfold in real time, revealing the rhythms of a family’s life on the margins of urban society. The film provides a rare glimpse into the intimate lives of Chinese workers who have left their rural homelands to pursue opportunities in urban centres, an outcome of China’s relatively recent economic boom.
Through an intimate study of a single family, Another Year offers a unique comment on contemporary Chinese society.