Dongzi, a young guy from a small-town, becomes the henchmen of a debt-collector, Xi Jun, in an attempt to pay off his sick father’s hospital bills. The film features a cold and estranged parent-child relationship, an unsettling life on the streets, and an ambiguous relationship with a young woman. In Dongzi’s shoes, this is what it is like to be 21.
Na Jiazuo grew up in Beijing. He learned to draw from the age of nine and was admitted to the affiliated middle school of the China Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2006. In 2020, his plan to get himself admitted to CAFA and work in Dunhuang after graduation fell through. Instead, he studied cinematography at Beijing Film Academy. He enjoys being at home playing the guitar, reading, sculpting, or simply just chilling and he is allergic to alcohol. In 2007, aged 18, he formed a six-member band. The theme song of this film, ME FIRST, was composed by the two core members remaining in this band in the summer of 2021.
This is a story about “struggle”. The film adopts a polarising approach with sudden stops and starts that create an interesting audiovisual experience. What blossoms at night, appears to wither in the daytime. The forgotten corners of the city become the focus of the camera’s lens. The green hills and the rivers on one hand, and the streetscapes on the other, are the two most important settings in this film. It is in the coex istence of these two environments that the characters in the story eat, talk, wander, and struggle.