Look Love (Special Version)
CHINA / 2015 / Chinese, English / Color / Blu-ray / 176 min
Director, Photography, Editing: Ye Yun
Editing Supervisor: Liao Ching-sung
Producer: Ruby Chen
World Sales, Source: CNEX www.cnex.org.cn
Lin-sheng, a boy who lives with his father in a rural village in Hunan province always plays hooky from school. He looks after his younger brothers out of sympathy for his father, who is withdrawn since their mother moved away for work. Xin-yuan, a girl attending boarding school in Beijing does nothing but fight with her mother when she occasionally makes it home from her job in Spain. Mothers moving far away to support their children and children yearning for understanding from their parents. The director’s lens draws close to the family’s confusion as they try and fail to communicate their affection for one another, eliciting the expression of thoughts ordinarily left unspoken.
[Director’s Statement] This is a long and lonely adventure. At first, I did not plan to make a feature documentary, but ended up obsessed with the film. I spent years with the subjects during their elementary school years, and started editing the footage upon their graduation. But when I finished the project they had already graduated from junior high school. In this process, I was witnessing their growth, while my own life found a home in this footage and my childhood memories.
A lot of details and moments in this footage make me believe that there was a magical power, or I would say, destiny, that brought my subjects and me together. I followed several children in the beginning, but why did I finally decide to only feature Lin-sheng and Xin-yuan? Because one day, I realized that besides the contrast of their family backgrounds and social status they present, the two kids have something similar in their eyes, something so deep that could reveal their inner worlds and emotions.
I was often confused about my role during the filming: I was with them all the time as an observer, but I could not give them the spiritual support they needed the most. Meanwhile, it was they who gave me the opportunity to embrace my own childhood. This documentary originated from my observation of society. In the end, while I tried to explore the inner world of the two children and their families, I reached a new world where I was able to heal myself.
Beijing based filmmaker and artist. Born and raised in Chenzhou, Hunan province, she has worked at the Beijing Central Academy of Public Art after graduating from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. The installation version of Look Love won first prize in the Central Academy of Fine Arts 2009 graduate work competition. Her short film Face to Face was selected by the eighth Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2012 and the Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival 2013. Look Love was developed into this feature-length version from a video installation that the director first began filming in 2009. Look Love was supported by CNEX Foundation Limited, Ford Foundation JustFilms, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, and Busan International Film Festival AND Fund.