A Dog Barking at the Moon 0+

(Zai jian nan ping wan zhong), Lisa Zi Xiang, 2019, Chinese / Czech and English subtitles, 107 min
A Dog Barking at the Moon

Pregnant Xiaoyu returns to China from the USA to introduce her husband to her parents. With sadness, she finds out her home and family are not remotely like she remembers them. Her mother, spurned by her husband's affair, finds solace in a strange cult. The father, trying to come to terms with his desires, reacts to social and cultural pressures by denial and isolation. Although Xiaoyu might never penetrate this communication barrier again, the audience may look for the reasons for the deterioration of the relationships in the numerous flashbacks and almost surreal sequences. The images in the film let the unpleasant silence speak as each family member tries to hide their weaknesses. The main protagonist's efforts to uncover the old family grievances and secrets across the mutual estrangement therefore fall flat, just like the dog's barking at the distant moon at night. In her original debut, which won a special mention from the jury at this year's Teddy Awards, director Lisa Zi Xiang showcases the conflict between modern and traditional family, between culture and faith.

 

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