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  • International Premiere


Journey to the West


Director: KONG Dashan (孔大山)

2021|China|111min|Language: Chinese|Subtitles: English, Japanese

Date Time Venue
3/16 Wed 21:00 Umeda Burg 7: Theater7
3/19 Sat 18:30 ABC Hall
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YANG Haoyu (杨皓宇)
Ailiya (艾莉娅)
Roy WANG (王一通)
Chimy JIANG (蒋奇明)
SHENG Chenchen (盛晨晨)

The truth is out there for Tang Zhijun, the editor-in-chief of Space Exploration magazine. In his youth, he was a hopeful ufologist but the present-tense narrative set in the China of now shows him as a tired old man ground down by money worries, personal tragedies, and the struggle to keep his magazine afloat. Despite this, he still remembers to keep looking to the stars and when he gets word that there has been an alien sighting in a remote village, he sets out from Beijing and goes on a journey to the west with an embittered colleague, an alcoholic weatherman, and a naive alien super-fan, each wondering if they will have a close encounter with the third kind.

Sharing the same title as the classic of Chinese literature, Journey to the West updates its story into a blackly comic sci-fi road-movie as told via a snappy mockumentary-style watching a group of oddballs traipse their way to enlightenment while being driven by nostalgia, regret, and a romantic if desperate desire to believe the impossible.

[Jason MAHER]

Director's Message
There are many characters in this story: the UFO chaser, the poet waiting for the sparrow, the noisy woman, the drunken young man, the insomniac girl, and a donkey. Meaning is important. It's like there is carrot hanging in front of a donkey's eyes that will drive it to keep running. However, if the donkey keeps staring at the carrot, it suffers from the pain of not being able to get it, and if the carrot is taken away, there is nothingness. But the good thing is that there are always people who stare at the carrot in front of them and decide to embark on a fruitless adventure.

Director: KONG Dashan (孔大山)