Journey to the West
Borrowing its title from a Chinese literary masterpiece, Journey to the West is not a tale of the Monkey King, but of an ordinary man’s relentless pursuit of UFOs in the rugged southwest of China.
Tang Zhijun, a middle-aged editor-in-chief of the Space Exploration Magazine, is a misfit in the rapidly advancing society. He clings to his belief in aliens and UFOs and devotes his life to finding them. When he hears about a mysterious flying object witnessed by a village called Burning Nest, where a stone ball vanished from the mouth of a stone lion, he sets off on an investigative road trip with a skeptic, a drunkard, and an insomniac. Along the way, he encounters Sun Yitong, a young poet who claims to have received messages from extraterrestrials. From then on, the true purpose of this journey begins to unfold…
Inspired by the classic Chinese novel of the same name and the Space Exploration Magazine which was actually popular in China in the 1980s and 1990s, Journey to the West is a witty road movie, a poignant mockumentary, and a nostalgic comedy of one’s search for meaning and truth in a world that is apathetic to his dreams. At its core, it is also a film of chasing lost love and believing in what seems impossible.
Kong Dashan, born in 1990 in Shandong Province, graduated from Beijing Film Academy. During his school years, he produced several short films, which were selected in many film festivals in China. Journey to the West is his debut feature. After receiving Best Film in the Fei Mu Awards at Pingyao International Film Festival, the film had its International premiere in Rotterdam, and competed at Hong Kong International Film Festival, Osaka Asian Film Festival, and numerous other international film festivals.
Red Lotus 2023
118 Min | Color | Chinese with English subtitles
Directed by KONG Dashan