Cohen Media Group is proud to announce the release of revered director Jia Zhang-Ke’s new film, ASH IS PUREST WHITE, a masterful blend of gangster film, romance, and social critique, spanning two decades of contemporary China, and starring his frequent muse and collaborator Tao Zhao. A critical hit at film festivals including Cannes, New York, and Toronto, and French co-production, ASH IS PUREST WHITE is scheduled to open in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on Friday, March 15 followed by a national roll out.
A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu (criminal underworld setting,) ASH IS PUREST WHITE begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Tao Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Fan Liao) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives. With a three-part structure and stunning cinematography by French director of photography Eric Gautier (Motorcycles Diaries, A Christmas Tale, Summer Hours,) ASH IS PUREST WHITE continues Jia Zhang-Ke’s body of work as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations.
Jia Zhang-Ke hails from the small city of Fenyang in Shanxi province and graduated from the Beijing Film Academy. His directorial debut, Pickpocket, launched him as the leading figure of China’s “Sixth Generation” of filmmakers. Since then, all major festivals have selected his films, from Cannes (Mountains May Depart, A Touch of Sin, 24 City), to Venice (Useless, Still Life, Dong, The World), Toronto, and New York. Jia Zhang-Ke has also been the subject of several retrospectives at venues including New York's Museum of Modern Art, London’s British Film Institute, and Paris’ Forum des Images.
A graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy’s Department of Chinese Folk Dance, actress Tao Zhao starred in Jia Zhang-Ke’s Platform (Venice Film Festival), Still Life (Venice’s Golden Lion Winner), 24 City (Cannes) and A Touch of Sin (Cannes’ Best Screenplay winner). She won the Asia Pacific Screen Actor Award for Best Actress for her performance in ASH IS PUREST WHITE.
“Passion and politics merge in the exquisite doomed romances of ‘Ash is Purest White”. Fierce, gripping, emotionally generous and surprisingly funny… The richest, most subtly complex performance she's given to date.” - Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times
“One of the great husband-and-wife collaborations of contemporary world cinema.” - David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Jia Zhangke's latest is further proof that Zhao Tao is one of the greatest actresses in the world.” - David Ehrlich, Indiewire