After a massive earthquake razed a Chinese city to the ground, thousands of parents who lost their children are encouraged to give a new birth so that they can move on with their lives. AFTER THE RAIN follows two of these families for over a decade. Haunted by fear, resentment, and unspeakable grief, the families find hope beyond their intergenerational trauma is hard to build.
Fan Jian is a documentary director who focuses on Chinese social issues through character-driven storytelling. He is the documentary branch member of the AMPAS. Fan has directed six feature-length documentary films, most recently STILL TOMORROW, winner of the Special Jury Award at the IDFA 2016. His other films include MY LAND (Berlinale 2016; supported by Sundance Documentary Fund) and THE NEXT LIFE (IDFA 2011; Jury Prize at Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival 2011). His work has also screened in competition at Hot Docs, Full Frame, Sheffield, Busan, and dozens of other film festivals around the world. Fan studied at Beijing Film Academy and is now based in Chongqing, China.
When I made THE NEXT LIFE back in 2011, I spent a year in this community of parents through the darkest time in their lives. Because of this experience, Mei, Sheng, Ying, and Ping now treat me like a member of their families. The film AFTER THE RAIN will be the second film in the trilogy on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The world pays attention to the place when the destruction takes place, but few understand the long-term human cost from these disasters. This irreversible shift in their life trajectories impacts those who experienced the trauma, and their children born after the disasters. Our longitudinal, immersive investigation into the lived realities of these families will provide much-needed insights into the psychological effects of major disasters.