Send Me to the Clouds
Director & Writer: Teng, Congcong Cast: Yao, Chen / Yuan, Hong / Li, Jiuxiao / Liang, Guanhua / Yang, Xinming / Wu, Yufang
Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, iron-willed journalist Sheng Nan (“Surpass Men” in Chinese) is pressured to make a quick fortune and find mind-blowing sex before the costly surgery numbs her senses. Taking on a businessman’s biography writing job, she hikes into the misty mountains, where a chain of outbursts with her dysfunctional family, grumpy client, misogynistic co-worker and dreamlike romantic interest hilariously unfold. As deeply moving as it is luminously witty, writer-director Teng Congcong’s debut waltzes across the bitterness swallowed by her generation of women born under China’s One Child Policy, unprecedentedly burdened to “surpass men” while trying not to be “leftover women” at the same time. Saluting the 18th-century Chinese literature classic Dream of the Red Chamber in its title, the enchanting gem refreshes the novel's transcendent contemplation on desire, death and womanhood from a modern cinematic perspective.
festivals and recognitions
Nomination, Best Director, Best Film Shanghai International Film Festival
Special Presentation, First International Film Festival
OPENING IN THEATERS (UPDATING)
At a gathering of the poetry club in the grandview garden, every member is tasked to write a poem about the rootless willow catkins blown away by the indifferent east wind. While others complain about the cruelty and contingency of the world in their poems, Xue Baochai stuns the crowd and wins top prize with bold ambition shown in her writing, which encourages everyone to take advantage of adverse forces to serve their own interests.
Her poem reads:
"No matter what separates or unites,
the filaments whence we are formed remains unchanging;
Do not laugh at my rootlessness.
Good wind, lend me the power.
Send me up to the clouds."
——Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin