12 Mag «Flowering Season» by Zhang Hai
Flowering Season is an observational, technically elegant, and innovative short film focusing on the lives of some Chinese teenagers. This insight into the lives of young people shows the fragility and beauty of the outcast, the different, a visual and conceptual study of loneliness against the backdrop of a dynamic, perhaps overburdened society.
The film enshrines the authorial maturity of director and screenwriter Zhang Hai, who demonstrates a remarkable ability to synthesize tradition and innovation, and image and symbol.
Zhang Hai’s direction is extremely simple and straightforward, almost a naked observation that nonetheless misses no detail as he observes the secrets and vulnerability of hybrid creatures between youth and early adulthood. At the same time, it makes the most of every shot, every medium, every visual and verbal language and manages to immerse us completely in the lives of the protagonists.
The result is an unconventional, oddly poetic film. The cinematography is remarkable, creating atmospheres that hover after watching the film, offering insight into the ineffable emotions of the characters.
It is a sincere and intimate portrait through the archetypes of the coming-of-age novel-bullying, the discovery of desire, diversity-and gives us the impossibility of looking at China through the eyes of one of the new generation of Chinese filmmakers.