Return To Dust
Cert: PG Year: 2022 Length: 131 mins
Written and directed by Li Ruigin, this Chinese drama follows the lives and hardships of Ma Youtie and Cao Guiying in rural China. They are simple farmers who after an arranged marriage grow to love each other. They move into a series of unoccupied houses which are progressively demolished. Despite being a high-grossing film, Return to Dust was was removed without explanation from Chinese streaming services in the run-up to the party congress.
Thanks to Modern Films
Return to Dust has been widely praised by audiences for its realistic and moving depiction of rural life in China. For the same reason it has also drawn criticism from nationalistic voices accusing it of portraying China in a negative light.
Return to Dust is many things — a vivid portrait of China’s hardscrabble rural north- west, an unexpected victim of state censorship — but it is first and last a love story. Danny Leigh
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