Liu Jiayin introduced film audiences to her parents and their tiny Beijing apartment in the multiple-award winner Oxhide (2005). Skillfully blending drama and documentary, she continues to let us into a fascinating world beyond mere daily life. Liu not only appears in the film, she is also the sole director, editor, cinematographer and scriptwriter. In this series of nine shots, revolving in 45-degree intervals around a central workbench, the limited vision of the cinemascope frame reveals much about this tight-knit family. Liu practices how to chop chives and wrap dumplings, following her mother’s very specific instructions. The father’s failing leatherwork business continues to dominate the family’s sharp conversations as the meal preparations progress in what seems like real time. Clearly, people can learn a great deal while making dumplings together. Don’t watch this film on an empty stomach.
“Oxhide II is unpretentiously inventive, quietly virtuosic … Every festival that’s serious about the art of cinema should pledge to show Oxhide II.” –David Bordwell, American film theorist, critic and author
– Lisa Roosen-Runge