Posted in Film Festivals, Reviews, World Film Festival

The Ferry review – World Film Festival 2013

stillsfromtheferry4The Ferry (2013) Director : Shi Wei
Screenwriter : Shengsheng H. D’après/Based on: The Ferry. De/By: Shengsheng He
Cinematographer : Wang Yang
Editor : Wang Qiuyue, Zhang Sheng
Cast : Zhou Guangda Music : Wang Yuanping

Based on a true story, this leisurely paced movie is about a son who comes back from the city to visit his dad in the village. Their small house is next to a river that flows through the EnShi mountains  The father has a row boat that he uses to ferry people across the river. He never asks for compensation but generally passengers will leave something whether it be food or other items as payment. It’s a service that has been passed down from many generations. The son, however, does not understand why his father continues to do this work and thinks they’ve done enough to repay the long passed away villagers.

The film focuses mainly on the father and son. It’s a human drama that might be boring to the unprepared viewer. I found the pace a bit too slow but at the same time, it felt realistic and I was surprisingly not bored for the most part. If you can appreciate getting a glimpse into the everyday life of a villager then this movie will serve you well. There is a convenient and mostly tacked on love interest for the son to vary the tone of the story a bit. Cinematography is nice. There are some breathtaking scenes, particularly early in the movie where they show a series of scenes rather quickly almost becoming a tourism video. Overall, it’s an interesting movie with well-developed main characters. There’s certainly something to be learned from this movie if you have the patience.



Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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