What was the starting point for The Cold Raising the Cold?
The story is based on real events. I saw the shadow of my childhood in the young killer's behavior. Maybe my starting point is to solve my inner contradictions through movies featuring controversial social issues.
This is your first fiction film after several documentaries. Why this transition?
In fact, this is my first feature. We shot it in 2015, but I thought I hadn’t done a good job. We stopped post-production and I began to shoot documentaries. The freedom I experienced in documentary gave me new confidence to face the feature. But there is no big difference between documentary and drama. The author must simply have freedom to create.
Where is the film set?
In Dongbei Province, in northeast China. Half my childhood was spent there, so I am familiar with its boredom and depression.
How do you see your work in relation to contemporary Chinese cinema?
Before making movies, my wife Ambra and I founded an independent space in Beijing with screenings of Chinese films. Before that, I watched foreign films, which made me feel distant from my dream of making movies. Chinese independent films gave me new strength by showing me that ordinary people’s lives in our small towns were worth recording.
How would you like your film to affect its audience?
I hope that people can learn to be tolerant, because I used to be an intolerant and extreme person. Without the birth of our kids, I would have become a very bad person. My family made me tolerant. I will try through my films to make a better world for our children.