Contemporary China. A Northern town encased in snow, filled with stark, brutal Soviet buildings. Teenage boys wile away the hours in sparsely furnished rooms, or sit on park benches. Boredom. Despair. Hopelessness. And the blackest of black comedy! Such is the movie that Li Hongqi gves us. Welcome to modern China, everyone! Thousands of miles away from the shiny skyscrapers of the economic miracle here is atomised, brutalised reality - the reality of modern life under Communism. WINTER VACATION is a tough watch because it so resolutely holds out against such easy comforts as a narrative arc or a happy ending. But if you allow yourself to settle into it, and to go with its slow rhythm, it can become as mesmerising as an Aki Kaurismaki movie.
WINTER VACATION played Seoul and Locarno 2010, where it won the Golden Leopard. It has no commercial release date yet.