Life After Life


The Main 2 Sun, Apr 16, 2017 9:30 PM
The Main 2 Wed, Apr 26, 2017 5:15 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$13.00
Youth (25 & Under/Box Office Only):$8.00
Film Info
Premiere Status:Minnesota Premiere
Programs:Asian Frontiers
Culture & Society
Asian Interest
Voice Category:Take Me Away
Release Year:2016
Runtime:80 min
Festivals & Awards:Golden Firebird Award: Young Cinema - Hong Kong International Film Festival
Grand Prix - Pacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asia Pacific Countries
Grand Prize - Tokyo FILMeX
Print Source:Pascale Ramonda
Director:Zhang Hanyi
Producer:Zhang Yong
Jia Zhangke
Cinematographer:Chang Mang
Screenwriter:Zhang Hanyi
Editor:Matthieu Laclau
Principal Cast:Zhang Li
Zhang Mingjun
Wang Ji Shan
Wei Xiao Min
Wang Bing Qun
Zhang Zhi Min
Filmography:Debut Feature


In a remote village in the Shaanxi province, Life After Life opens with a frustrated young boy and his beleaguered father working to gather wood. When the boy runs off in a typical preteen temper tantrum, he extraordinarily returns possessed by the spirit of his dead mother, who had been wandering Shaanxi’s caves since her death. Her chief reason for returning is to move a tree that marked the home where they once lived. Accepting this supernatural turn with almost Keaton-like straightforwardness, the father, Mingchun, calls upon his extended family to help them with this arduous task, only to be met with ambivalence. Produced by Jia Zhangke with a shared sense of social commentary, Zhang Hanyi's restrained ghost story relies less on scares and instead on profound observations of China’s dying rural/industrial communities, and the impact that modernization has on everyone, from the living to the dead.


”A Chinese ghost story with a difference, its characters — man or ghost — struggling in an absurd world at once strangely hilarious and eerily terrifying.” - Hollywood Reporter

Director’s Statement

In my hometown Shaanxi Province, the place I grew up. Industrial development and the migration of population have seen the gradual desolation of the village with few people left and houses collapsed. In fact, there are countless villages like this in loess plateau and in the whole China, which were once prosperous and flourishing. And in those villages, there are all kinds of folklores orally passed down through generations. All seem to believe that the dead’s spirit would come back as it possesses a body, there exists reincarnation and animals would turn into human shapes at their weddings and funerals, although no ordinary people have ever seen such things with their own eyes. So I created Xiuying this figure, an ordinary rural woman who had a confused life, died of an accident at a young age and obviously was not content to be dead like that. After a decade of wandering as a wild ghost, she returned to the almost abandoned village to move the tree in their family’s courtyard as if to leave some traces of her existence in this land.

Director’s Biography

Mr. Zhang Hanyi was born in Bin County, Shaanxi Province in 1987. He graduated from The Central Academy of Drama in 2009 and shot his very first film Life After Life in 2013.