Suburban Birds

(Jiao qu de niao) 郊区的鸟
China 2018. Dir: Qiu Sheng. 113 min. DCP

“A spectacular directing debut ... Qiu shows remarkable facility as he patiently adds layer upon layer to a mystery that wants to stay one.”

“A rewarding and revelatory first feature from a fresh artistic voice.”

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! A major noisemaker at Locarno and New Directors/New Films 2019, the beautiful, beguiling debut feature of Chinese filmmaker Qiu Sheng heralds the arrival of an exceptional new talent in Asian cinema. Both an affecting coming-of-age tale and an intoxicating temporal puzzle, Suburban Birds is structured around two parallel narratives, each afforded its own formal devices. In one, replete with abrupt zooms and camera pans, a group of geomatic surveyors investigate the baffling appearance of sinkholes in a new suburb redevelopment. In the other, shot with grace and measured control, a band of close-knit kids negotiate the rites of growing up as their town prepares for demolition. The two stories’ unexpected points of intersection, strange and upending, are the spellbinding stuff of Lynch, Hong Sang-soo, and Apichatpong. A wonderfully enigmatic movie with unsolved mysteries to savour. In Mandarin with English subtitles.



"So good —and delightfully kinked— that it’s well worth catching now (and watching twice)."

New York Times | full review

"Qiu’s directorial touch is remarkably gentle ... He avoids schematic logic in favor of a light mystery of unity, seeking a quiet depth beyond sensory perception."

Film Comment | full review