Jia Zhangke is one of the most attentive chroniclers of China’s rapid transformation over the past few decades. In acclaimed films like A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, and Ash Is Purest White, he follows characters cast adrift, left behind, or otherwise out of joint with their surroundings due to almost overwhelming development. Jia’s latest, Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue, is a documentary look at the recent history of Shanxi Province, where he grew up. In conversation with authors and fellow Shanxi natives Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua, and Liang Hong, he compares contemporary scenes of the region to images throughout its history over the latter half of the 20th century.
Hyperallergic has the exclusive premiere of the film’s poster and trailer, which gives a taste of its poignant contrasts between past and present.
Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue opens in theaters May 28.