Wu Lei's Dwelling by the West Lake Will Premiere at Tokyo International Film Festival

Dwelling by the West Lake Wu Lei movie

Finally, we heard updates about this movie, Dwelling by the West Lake". This was filmed in 2022 but nothing was heard from the production after the booting ceremony in March 2022.

Last month it was announced that this film will have its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 28! 

Dwelling by the West Lake Wu Lei movie
Promotional poster of Dwelling by the West Lake 

It stars Wu Lei and Jiang Qinqin, they will portray a son and mother respectively who are living during the economic turbulence in the beautiful Chinese green tea-farming landscape of Hangzhou. Award-winning veteran actor, Chen Jianbin has a support role here. 

It is written and directed by Gu Xiaogang whose directorial debut, "Dwelling by the Fushun Mountain", received critical praises when it premiered at Cannes International Film Festival in 2019. He will also received the Kurosawa Akira Award during the Tokyo International Film Festival. 

Dwelling by the West Lake Wu Lei movie
Wu Lei as Mu Lian

Dwelling by the West Lake Wu Lei movie
Jiang Qinqin as Tai Hua

Plot Summary:

This film revolves around the emotional connection of the family made complicated by crimes. It uses current social realism themes to try to translate the Chinese classical legend, "Mu Lian Saves His Mother" into the contemporary times.

Dwelling by the West Lake follows Mu Lian (Wu Lei), a young man who came to Hangzhou to study and also to search for his father who had been missing for ten years. His mother,  Tai Hua (Jiang Qinqin) also came to Hangzhou to pick tea for a living to help her son's studies. 

But the once peaceful days were disrupted by Tai Hua’s emotional turmoil with the tea-picking boss. She later gets accidentally involved with a fraud crime organization. 

Mu Lian tried his best to rescue his mother from this organization. While the storm seemed to have settled, the mother and son found themselves in an even more desperate situation.

Not a sequel 

In January 2022, director Gu Xiaogang announced the follow-up to his well-received film, “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”, which was exhibited at the Critic's Choice Night during the Cannes International Film Festival in 2019.

However, according to Gu Xiaogang, Dwelling by the West Lake is an entirely new story taking place in an entirely new environment and not a sequel to Dwelling of the Fuchun Mountains. Filming commenced in March 2022 but for some reasons, it was halted and resumed during the autumn 2022. 

The latest released stills of the movie reflect a comforting zen vibe - tranquil, relaxing, and healing, something what we needed to detoxify our worn-out selves.

The image where Wu Lei is biking under the cool and lush greenery shows a smooth atmosphere in the countryside and the natural beauty of the environment. 

We're hoping China will choose this as its entry to the 96th Academy Awards (Oscars 2024) to compete in the Best Foreign Film category, looks like has a good chance to be shortlisted as it reflects China's authentic culture, beautiful scenery, and Guo Xiaogang's work is so rich in wisdom. 

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