Egg and Stone
Directed by Huang Ji • Drama • With Xiao Pin-gao, Liu Xiao-lin, Yao Hong-gui, Yixiang Huang, Baiyu Yao • 2016 • 98 minutes
Huang Ji's brave personal film is one of the most auspicious debuts in recent Chinese cinema. Set in her home village in rural Hunan province, EGG AND STONE is a powerful autobiographical portrait of a 14-year-old girl's attempts to come to terms with her emerging sexual maturity. Since her parents moved to the city to work, she has been forced to live with her uncle and aunt for seven years. Alone with her own inchoate fears and desires, she grapples with a terrifying world of sexual awakening and danger. Huang Ji's visual sophistication, narrative fluency, and technical polish belie her youth. Cinematographer Ryuji Otsuka (also the film's producer and editor) contributes beautifully crafted cinematic images, fearfully intimate, softly pulsing with light, saturated with complex emotional power.
"Meticulous in every way: the non-professional actors with incredible skills, the beautiful camerawork, the timing and dosing of the tragic storyline about a fourteen-year-old Chinese girl from the countryside. A grown-up feature film debut by a major talent."—International Film Festival Rotterdam