【正義思辨】篇 Ways to Justice
When the Bough Breaks
中國大陸 China︱ 2011︱ 110 min︱季丹 JI Dan
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Vancouver International Film Festival
Not long ago, Beijing’s Daxing District used to be filled with landfills out of which neighboring scavengers eked a living. With the tumor-like spread of skyscrapers and subway stations in Beijing’s recent urban development, the landfills have been filled, and the bright lights of the city shine upon them. Only one wobbly little shack still stands against the winds of change. This film documents one stormy year in the lives of its inhabitants.
Living inside the shack are twin sisters Xia, Ling, their younger brother Gang and their parents. The teenage children had been receiving tuition funding for migrant children, but are now facing difficulty in continuing their studies after the funding was pulled from the local school. Without sufficient tuition funds and sponsorship, these kids have to look for other sponsors while still studying in junior high school.
In order to have at least one of them attending senior high school, Xia, the eldest among the three children, even proposes to give up her own studies, only to be able to support their younger brother Gang’s tuition fees. This decision not only triggers tension between Xia and their father who feels his authority is threatened
by his headstrong daughter, Gang is also ungrateful of Xia’s sacrifice and is unwilling to take on the burden of the while family’s expectation…
When the Bough Breaks offers us a rare chance to look into the lives of an unusual family, whose struggles and love for each other we can all relate to.