Hao Qin

Opening this year’s Un Certain Regard programme, Mystery returns festival veteran Lou Ye to Cannes for the fourth time, having screened Purple Butterfly, Summer Palace and Spring Fever in the main competition in past years, and after being banned from filmmaking for five years by the Chinese government. Though he is on less provocative form here than previously, he does still sneak in a criticism of the Chinese justice system and the somewhat distasteful practice of private settlements overriding criminal prosecution. His story here focuses on Lu Jie (Hao Lei), a happy housewife whose life is shattered when she discovers that her husband (Hao Qin) is having an affair. The story isn’t quite that conventional however, as it is framed by an explosive event – the death of her husband’s mistress under the wheels of a young rich playboy’s car – and when murder is suggested, the film quickly sets about solving the mystery of her death, despite the almost nullifying influence of the police force, at the same time further unraveling Lu Jie’s own story and the complex deceits of her husband.

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