Production General Supervisor：Xu Xiaoming
Production Supervisor：Pema Tseden, Cui Siwei
Producer：Zhang Fanfan, Ding Ju
Editor：Wu Fang, Yang Songbai
Sound：Xu Jingjing, Dukar Tserang, Ma Sheng
Music：Franz Schubert, Dukar Tserang
Production Designer：Ji Peng, Xie Hanfeng
Visual Effects：Xie Hanfeng
Cast：Chen Weixin、Zhao Yuxuan、Wu Jiahui、Nie Jinquan
To be or not to be is the question that Beyond the Skies asks. The war film follows a young soldier named Hong Qichen, who trudges through the bloodstained ruins in his deadly mission to blow up the enemy’s ammunition depot within 48 hours. He brings together wounded comrades-in-arms in the treacherous mountains for a life-and-death fight against the enemy. While questioning whether their sacrifices are worth it, his comrades-in-arms fall one after another in front of his eyes. It’s getting harder and harder to complete the mission as time goes by. Some persist because of their faith; others stay true to their mission and determine to sacrifice. While embodying poetic Chinese cinema aesthetics, Beyond the Skies tells a heart-breaking story of a patriotic military mission in 1935 as these soldiers sacrificed their lives for the historical mission with their sense of calling at heart.
Liu Zhihai, Director, Curator, and Professor at the China Academy of Art. Long engaged in teaching cinema, conducting directing and project planning work, dedicated in the noumenal research and practical explorations of poetic cinema, promoting academic research of poetic cinema and popularization of audience aesthetics, as well as providing creative and academic support for young directors as the executive producer.
This is a poetic film created by the poetic cinema creative team from the China Academy of Art that portrays the relationship between man and war by studying the conflict between individuals’ will to live and their sense of calling and loyalty to their country under the current social background. Visually, the entire film tries to recreate a sense of time and quality that is similar to historical footages shot on film. With ethereal scenes, the film creates a sense of the past time with a fantasy-like quality. The use of space, characters, camera moves, extreme long shots, and extreme close-ups, the film’s audio-visual language highlights the poetic qualities of the mountains, rivers, and people. As the subject of narration, the camera always moves along the scenery with the actors and enters the heroic but tragic reality of war with the characters. These fluid long takes provide the audience with an extremely immersive experience. Amidst the poetic scenery, the entire film portrays the life and death of humanity, cruelty and perseverance, and reflects on the impact of war on each individual as well as its meaning for the entire population.