New Yorker Films acquires Jia Zhang-ke's "Still Life"


NEW YORK, May 1, 2007 – Still Life, winner Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival 2006, is an empathetic portrait of those left behind by a modernizing society and, as in director Jia Zhang-ke’s earlier films (Platform, Unknown Pleasures, The World), it is a unique hybrid of documentary and fiction. Still Life will make its theatrical premiere in New York City in the Fall of 2007, followed by a national release, it was announced today by Dan Talbot of New Yorker Films. Under the terms of the agreement with Memento Films International, New Yorker Films has acquired the theatrical and home video/DVD rights to the film, as well as broadcast and cable television rights.

In Still Life, great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the construction of the Three Gorges hydro project: countless families that had lived there for many generations have had to relocate to other cities. Fengjie’s old town, which has a 2000-year history, has been torn down and submerged forever, but its new neighborhood hasn’t been finished yet. There are still things that need to be salvaged and yet there are also things that must be left behind. In Still Life, such life-changing choices face both Han Sanming, a miner traveling to Fengjie in search of his ex-wife of 16 years, and Shen Hong, a nurse who has come to Fengjie to look for her husband, who she hasn’t seen in two years. Both Han and Shen will find who they’re looking for, but in the process they too will have to decide what is worth salvaging in their lives and what they need to let go of.

Jia Zhang-ke on Still Life: "I once walked into someone’s room by accident and saw dust-covered articles on the desk. Suddenly it seemed the secrets of still life fell upon me. The old furniture, the stationery on the desk, the bottles on the windowsills and the decorations on the walls all took on an air of poetic sorrow. Still Life represents a reality that has been overlooked by us. Although time has left deep marks on it, it still remains silent and holds the secrets of life. I entered this condemned city with my camera and I witnessed demolitions and explosions. In the roaring noise and fluttering dust, I gradually felt that life really could blossom in brilliant colors even in a place with such desperation."

Still Life premieres in the U.S. as part of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival’s World Narrative Feature Competition.