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Ash Is Purest White 15 rating

Heartbreak and resilience fuel Jia Zhangke's quietly epic saga, in which one woman’s fortitude and knack for crime carry her through a rapidly changing China.

Drama 2018 136 mins

Director: Jia Zhangke


Qiao (Zhao Tao) is the humble yet sassy moll to the swaggering but fair Bin (Liao Fan), a handsome gangster in a depressed mining town. When Bin’s ballroom dancing-obsessed boss is bumped off, Bin moves up, becoming leader of the ‘Jianghu’, a brotherhood of honourable criminals. But times have changed and honour is out of fashion, so when Bin is attacked by members of a new generation of wannabe mobsters, Qiao makes a decision that will have a seismic impact upon their lives. Ambitious and inventive, Ash Is Purest White is sprinkled with pop references and even some cosmic moments.

Director Jia Zhangke continues to surprise with his perceptive chronicles of Chinese society, aided here by a magnificent performance from Zhao Tao as the woman who cannot be stopped.