Illuminating Life's Complexity Through Ambiguous Imagery

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London | Fortune Teller

April 13 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Fortune Teller (2009) stands out as one of the most exceptional works among early Chinese independent documentaries. Focused on a fortune teller, the film employs a narrative structure akin to classical Chinese novels, with each chapter highlighting different aspects. It provides a comprehensive portrayal of the lives of marginalized individuals in China, including prostitutes, gamblers, beggars, and the disabled. With limited control over their lives, these people in the bottom strata often resort to mystical forces as tools to interpret their destinies. Through this, the fortune teller, Li Baicheng, effectively links various characters through his profession. Director Xu Tong is renowned for his depiction of China’s nomads. Assuming the persona of a ‘nomad’ himself, he immerses himself in the lives of his subjects, embodying an independent filmmaking ethos of ‘nomads shooting nomads’. Without passing moral judgments or excessively critiquing society, Xu approaches his subjects with respect and understanding. He captures the raw essence of their lives and their courageous struggle for survival, fostering a deep experiential understanding of a fragile world and nurturing a profound sense of equality among the audience.


April 13
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Ambiguity Film
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The Horse Hospital
Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London, WC1N 1JD
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71 people are attending London | Fortune Teller

Jingzhi Yang TENG WANG  Heidi He Wen Yao Riona O'Sullivan Byanka