Movie featuring Beijing's White Pagoda rakes in reviews at Berlin

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The Shadowless Tower, one of two Chinese-language films competing for top awards at the 73rd Berlin Film Festival, recently held its global premiere in Berlin, marking director Zhang Lu's fourth-time participating in the event.

The 144-minute movie, starring actor Xin Baiqing and actress Huang Yao, was filmed on location in the streets and architecture surrounding the iconic White Pagoda located inside the Miaoying Temple in downtown Beijing. Through a poetic tale, the film explores the culture of the Chinese capital and how its unique characteristics have an impact on the lives of its residents.

Xin plays Gu Wentong, a food critic who is divorced and entrusts his daughter's care to his sister. Gu had a troubled childhood, with his father (played by director-actor Tian Zhuangzhuang) leaving the family when he was just 5 years old. Gu discovers that his father resides in a seaside town approximately 300km from Beijing and struggles to reconnect with him while also dealing with relationship issues with a young photographer. All of these challenges prompt Gu to reconsider his roles as a father, son and lover.

During a news conference at the Berlin festival, director Zhang discussed the Chinese elements featured in the movie, highlighting the significance of the White Pagoda in the urban context of Beijing. He explained the basic colors of the city are gray and a more elegant brownish-red, and a white tower like the White Pagoda stands out in this context, allowing people to imagine many things.

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