At a festival chock-full of cinematic violence, a documentary by a young Chinese film-maker brought more darkness to Cannes with a harrowing portrayal of life in Beijing’s underbelly.
“I’m relating reality as it is in China today,” director Zhao Liang told AFP in an interview.
His “Petition” documents the plight of China’s judicial “petitioners” — people from across the land who gather in Beijing in the hope of righting legal wrongs suffered back home.
“These people are sacrificing themselves for China,” said Zhao, whose work is one of 15 feature-length films selected for screening by the festival but showing out-of-competition for the Palme d’Or award.
“There is a lot of corruption. China’s problem today is that justice is not independent,” he said.