Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Suzhou River

Year: 2000
Country: China, Germany
Run Time: 83 minutes

Lou Ye's brief, striking film noir is like something out of a Far East James M. Cain or Cornell Woolrich, with a bit of "Vertigo" on the side. Your unseen, subjective narrator is a freelance videographer in Shanghai, whose weary camera-eye lens takes us into a strange story of desire, crime, loss, and obsession. Mardar is a motorbike deliveryman, not too particular about the packages he carries, and his pliable ethics bring him under the influence of a shady businessman who hatches a highly illegal scheme involving Mardar's unwitting teenage girlfriend Moudon. Something goes wrong, and the girl vanishes into the depths of urban legend as a "mermaid" glimpsed from time to time along the banks of the city's Suzhou River. The videographer - who, since he's become part of the story, may or may not be telling us all that he knows - has a lurking suspicion about the missing Moudon; can she be his own on-again-off-again lover, Meimei, a seductive, houseboat-dwelling nightclub performer with an underwater act? Beware, the Suzhou exacts a price for giving up its secrets. Neonlit and subtly ominous, SUZHOU RIVER flows dark and dangerous, with no lifeguard on duty. (In Mandarin with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Lou Ye

Producer
Nai An, Phillippe Bober

Cinematography
Wang Yu

Editing
Karl Reidl

Principal Cast
Zhou Xun, Jia Hongsheng, Nai An, Yao Anlian, Hua Zhongkai

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