Single Cycle

honoured with the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Award 2020

Zhang Qi's debut feature Single Cycle is presented at the Pingyao International Film Festival. There, the film receives a nomination for the People's Choice Award.


A mother, a daughter, the cowardly men around them, the words unsaid between them. A ghost story about uncertain feelings and secret dreams.

Is it really possible to hear ghosts playing mah-jong in this place? In any case, it’s important to listen closely, the film’s sounds and the musical leitmotif tell as much as its images. These depict the young Yao Ye, who has to get along with her mother's new boyfriend and with the biker Yao Feng, who is trying to court her.

The director Zhang Qi develops his story through a very free dramaturgy, composing a symphony of tentative and fleeting feelings, including between mother and daughter, which he accompanies with majestic shots of landscapes enshrouded in fog. Much remains unsaid; in Yao's dreams, ships crash into cities and she dances ballet across a dark stage. Zhang seamlessly dissolves fantasy and reality into a state of inner insecurity for character and viewer alike: it’s as if we ourselves were ghosts trying to make sense of earthly affairs.

Country: China

2020 | 95 min | Mandarin
Subtitles: English, German

Starring_ Zhang Yizhuo, Liu Lu, Song Ningfeng Screenplay_ Zhang Qi Cinematography_ Mark Lee Ping Bing Producer_ Tony Han Rights_ Flash Forward Entertainment

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