Berlinale movie marks Chinese language star Fan Bingbing’s return to cinema


By James Imam

BERLIN (Reuters) – Fan Bingbing, considered one of China’s largest movie stars, strode onto the Berlinale purple carpet on Thursday, marking her return to cinema following a five-year pause.

Her reappearance additionally spotlighted the return of Chinese language-language movie to the worldwide stage, as mainland China and Hong Kong have eased zero-COVID insurance policies, permitting for worldwide journey.

Fan disappeared from public view in 2018, prompting worldwide hypothesis about her whereabouts, earlier than Chinese language authorities handed her a 883 million yuan ($129 million) tremendous for tax evasion months later.

Her function in “Inexperienced Night time” – a racy thriller by Chinese language director Han Shuai set within the crime-infested underworld of Seoul, South Korea – brings that chapter to an in depth, Fan informed journalists forward of Thursday’s premiere.

“Due to my mates from all around the world,” she stated. “Everybody’s life has its ups and downs. It may be very troublesome and exhausting work at occasions, however you really study a whole lot of issues within the course of. All the things is okay now.”

The actor added it had been troublesome to restart her profession after the prolonged break.

“The largest problem is that I have not acted for 5 years,” she stated. “I all the time wished to discover a story, a script, a personality that may resonate with my mind-set.”

That includes each Mandarin and Korean dialogue, the movie is considered one of a number of from China and Hong Kong receiving world premieres on the Berlinale. Two of these movies are competing for the coveted Golden Bear award.

Beijing and Hong Kong each employed focused lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines as a part of zero-COVID insurance policies close to the beginning of the pandemic, earlier than easing restrictions in the direction of the tip of final yr as anti-COVID protests swept the mainland.

In “Inexperienced Night time”, Fan performs the function of Jin Xia, a Chinese language immigrant working as a safety guard at Seoul airport.

There, she encounters the Inexperienced-Haired Lady, a mysterious and rebellious drug trafficker performed by Lee Joo Younger, who leads her on a journey by way of Seoul’s gritty underworld.

The duo pursue each other by way of neon-lit backstreets, glow-in-the-dark bowling alleys and grubby eateries, evading harmful drug barons and murdering Xia’s abusive husband, earlier than embarking on a passionate lesbian affair that ends in heartbreak.

Chinese language cinema is exhibiting indicators of thriving in Berlin, Fan stated. “Chinese language movies taking their place on the world stage and that is very thrilling for cinema and for me too.”

(Reporting by James Imam; Modifying by Richard Chang)

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