Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature
China (PRC) / 2010 / Chinese dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 122 minutes


'Aftershock' is the highest-grossing domestic film ever in China - with over $100m made since its July release - and it's not hard to see why. Bookended by two natural calamities, huge earthquakes in Tangshan in 1976 and Sichuan in 2008, it's the story of those who survived the catastrophe, forced to rebuild their shattered lives amidst the rubble and ruin of their cities. At the narrative heart is a mother (Fan Xu), who immediately after the '76 quake and the loss of her husband, has to make a hideous decision when her two children are trapped under concrete. This heralds years of anguish and emotions, in a deeply involving and heartrending tale that zooms into the hearts of the protagonists and then out, surveying the state of China at the time, the rebuilding of the devastated city and of the hearts and lives which it contains. It's skillfully-filmed, sensitively nuanced and shocking, gripping the viewer's full attention from the outset and keeping it in thrall throughout. A magnificent, sweeping epic, which captures the evolving vistas of Chinese life over four tumultuous decades.


Documentary, Experimental, Video Essay

Cast & Credits

Contains scenes of a distressing, Death 18+

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