Considered to be one of the most promising directors in contemporary Chinese cinema after winning several awards at various festivals with his debut film Old Beast,
Zhou Ziyang is currently presenting his latest film Wuhai in the Official Selection at San Sebastián. The title refers to the small town in Inner Mongolia which provides the backdrop for the action that
turns on a happily married couple struggling with financial problems. According to the director, rapid economic growth, greed and distorted money-orientated values have caused a great deal of harm to society in the last few years and his film is like a critical fable that encourages people to reflect on this. It also investigates subjects like emotions, family issues, social problems and the human condition itself. Zhou Ziyang added that he wanted to provide drama, philosophical thinking and more sophisticated aesthetics within the form of a genre film, and he hoped that it would break new ground in Chinese auteur films. He firmly believed that the struggles of the characters in the story embody the reality of what is happening in China today. The Chinese filmmaker, who also wrote the script for the film, explains that Wuhai
also means “black sea”: in his opinion human nature is dark and is like an ocean full of problems and changes.