Opening Film is Announced—In Search of Lost Time Reveals Touching Inter-Ethnicity Friendship
The 12th Beijing International Film Festival is to be held from August 13 to 20, 2022.
In Search of Lost Time, presented by the Inner Mongolia Film Group Limited, Bona Film Group Limited, Huaxia Film Distribution Co., Ltd., and Alibaba Pictures Group Limited, co-presented by Inner Mongolia Film Studio Co., Ltd., Shanghai Bona Cultural Media Co., Ltd., Beijing Bona International Cinema Investment and Management Co., Ltd. with Zeng Han, Yu Dong, Zhao Haicheng, and Li Jie as presenter, Yu Dong as chief producer, Bai Jie and Jiang Defu as producer, Derek Yee as director, Peggy Lee as executive producer, Chen Baoguo, Ma Su, Ayungg‐a, Wang Qiang, Luo Yichun playing leading roles, and Wang Churan, Huang Yao, Bai Yufan, Cao Jun, Zhang Ming’en and Ding Chengxin making guest appearance, is shortlisted for the Competition Section of the Tiantan Award, and serves as the opening film of this edition of the BJIFF.
The film In Search of Lost Time is adapted from the historical event of “three thousand orphans entering Inner Mongolia”. It offers a panorama of the story that took place 60 years ago, and would be cherished in history forever for the greater friendship between ethnic groups: in the late 1950s, the newly founded People’s Republic of China suffered from serious natural disasters, and a large number of orphans in the south faced a nutritional deficiency crisis.
At this juncture, the Party committee and government of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region took the initiative to submit a request for an assignment to the central government. In line with the principle of "being adopted, survived and robust", nearly 3,000 orphans were taken to the prairie and handed over to the simple and kind-hearted herders for adoption. Here, the children, far from their hometowns, had to learn how to integrate into a new environment and family, and face new family members. One by one, all their unease and pain were resolved by the earth-shattering love of humankind.
Director Derek Yee, insightful in the reality genre, often communicated with local ethnic experts and historical advisors during the location scouting. He conducted rigorous investigation of changes in ethnic customs in different eras so as to ensure authentic artistic details.
According to him, in doing so, he has fully respected history and customs of the ethnic minorities, and only by making details authentic can actors perform at ease.
By focusing cameras on ordinary individuals, and capturing inner emotions through minute depiction, the film is able to present such a moving historical chapter, and reproduce the loving legend on screen.
As Zeng Han, presenter of the film and Chairman of the Inner Mongolia Film Group Limited, In Search of Lost Time is a masterpiece of the genre in recent years. “The growth of characters, greater love on the grassland, maternal bond, and humanity are all included in the twists and turns of plots. The film is fully emotional and realistic, narrowing the distance between main characters and audience. It’s truly gets to the audience in subtle ways.”
Yu Dong, chief producer of the film and Chairman of the Bona Film Group limited, also said, “It’s an ode to unity of ethnic groups, and a touching story that conveys love and humanity. I believe whoever watches the film will be touched.”
In Search of Lost Time embodies sincerity and rigor regarding adaptation of a historical event, and strong will against challenges in the process of creation. The film opens the 12th BJIFF with emotional portrayal of a realistic subject. On the international stage of the BJIFF, we believe the film can demonstrate to the world the passion and perseverance of Chinese filmmakers for the film art.