A series of severe criminal cases happened in Yangguan, an industrial town in Northwest China. Chen Hanzhong, the detective on the case, commutes to the gobi, fallen villages and desolate industrial landscapes with colleagues day after day. They got some clues, and more questions as well. As time passed, they realized that to solve the case is also to solve the mysteries in their lives. Suddenly, work and life, memory and reality, all begin to interweave at a certain moment.
Gao Han was born in 1990 in Gansu. He graduated from Communication University of China, and started his career as an independent screenwriter and director. He directed several short films in the past, and one of them named WRONG POSITION won the best short film award in Chinese Korean Share Your Dream Short Film Festival; Meanwhile, THE SANDSTORM (also named THE PARTNER) won the Tencent Penguin Young Directors Support Plan, and was completed as his first feature film during 2019-2020.
This is a crime story. But, the criminal case in this film is not what we are focusing on. Oppositely, I question the ‘ups and downs’ and ‘strong suspense’ concepts in crime films. Everything is about the place where the story happens, the unique style and geographic features of Northwest China, and the difficult positions and directions of destiny of people in the fallen industrial town. In fact, there is a kind of structural inevitability of drama if you look into the realities.