Two Chinese children, Linsheng and Xinyuan, grow up in completely different circumstances, but both are confronted with a similar situation. Linsheng lives with his impoverished father and two younger brothers in a village in Hunan, where he works the land. To secure a better future for Linsheng, his father sends him out of his familiar surroundings to a public school through a charity project. Xinyuan lives in Beijing where she attends an expensive boarding school, thanks to her mother. Although both parents just want the best for their children and love them dearly, the children feel lost and abandoned. Director Yun Ye observes the day-to-day lives of Linsheng and Xinyuan in a calm and loving manner. Look Love shows the consequences of failing family values and high expectations. While the rebellious Xinyuan would like to see her mother more often, her mom is already making plans to send her to college abroad. After all, money is no object. Meanwhile, Linsheng becomes intolerable and disobedient. He’s disruptive in class, runs away from school and looks on as his father seeks solace in alcohol. In some heartbreaking scenes in which Yun Ye manages to come very close to both children, we watch misunderstanding and powerlessness grow.
This is a long and lonely adventure, at first, I did not plan to make a feature documentary, but ends up obsessed with the film. I spent years with the subjects, during their elementary school years, and when I finished the project, they had graduated from junior high school already. In this process, I was witnessing their growth, while my own life and found home in these footage and my childhood memories. A lot of details and moments in these footage make me believe that there was a magical power, or I would say, destiny, that brought my subjects and I together. I followed several children in the beginning of the filmmaking, but why did I finally decide to only feature Lin-sheng and Xin-yuan together? Because, one day, I realized that, besides the contrast of their family backgrounds and social status they present, the two kids have something similar in their eyes, something so deep that could reveal their inner world and emotion. I am often confused about my role during the filming: I was with them all the time as an observer, but I could not give them the spiritual support they need the most. Meanwhile, It was them who gave me the opportunity to embrace my childhood. This documentary was originated from my observation of the society. In the end, while I tried to explore the inner world of the two children and their families, I reached a new world where I was able to heal myself.
YE Yun, Beijing based film director and artist, graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Her previous projects include:
Installation art LOOK LOVE , won the first prize in Central Academy of Fine Arts 2009 graduate work competition; Short film Face to Face , selected into the 8th Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival and Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival 2013, which are of predecessor of her the length documentary film Look Love. Her first feature length documentary Look Love, supported by Ford Foundation JustFilms, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Busan International Film Festival AND Fund, received BIFF Mecenat Award from the 20th Busan International Film Festival, selected into the 14th Yamagata International Film Festival and the 28th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Festivals & Awards
※ 20th Busan International Film Festival 2015, BIFF Mecenat Award
※14th Yamagata International Film Festival 2015, New Asian Currents
※ 28th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2015, Competition for First Appearance