For China’s working population, the pull of jobs across the country means that tens of millions of children are left behind in the care of relatives. Ideally, family ties mean these children get the best care from their surrogate parents, yet in Huang Ji’s award-winning feature Egg and Stone, we see the failings of this situation to devastating effects.
On the surface, Honggui is a typical 14-year-old girl. Sullen and stone-faced, she’s been left in the care of her aunt and uncle, who have grown resentful after taking care of her for seven years. Honggui drifts through her days, meeting up with her only friend, Ajiu, a local boy who toils in a quarry and gives her rides on his dirt bike. However, at home in her room, Honggui engages in a nightly ritual that suggests deeper worries than the average teenager should.
Huang’s first feature, Egg and Stone created buzz at the International Film Festival Rotterdam because of its autobiographical content and its impressive aptitude. Across the board, Egg and Stone features finely composed cinematography shot in Huang’s hometown, incredible performances by non-actors, and measured storytelling that never turns maudlin or exploitative despite its dark subject matter. This is exquisite filmmaking by a bold new director.
Director: Huang Ji
Writer: Huang Ji
Producers: Hsu Hsiao-ming, Otsuka Ryuji
Cinematographer: Otsuka Ryuji
Editor: Otsuka Ryuji
Sound: Huang Ji
Cast: Yao Hong-Gui, Xiao Pin-Gao, Liu Xiao-Lin
Born and raised in Hunan Province, China, Huang Ji studied screenwriting at the Beijing Film Academy from 2003-2007. In 2009, she directed her first short film, The Warmth of Orange Peel, which was selected by the Generation program of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. Egg and Stone, her feature directorial debut, won a Tiger award at its premiere at the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Tiger Award Winner, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012
Official Selection–Taipei Film Festival 2012
Official Selection–Vancouver International Film Festival 2012