Le promeneur d'oiseau China, France 2013 – 100min.
Ye Ying - Le promeneur d'oiseau
An old man leaves Beijing with his granddaughter to honor a promise made to his dead wife.
When he realizes time is going by too fast, Zhigen, an old man, leaves Beijing to return to the village of his birth to honor a promise made to his dead wife: the he would free the bird he has kept in a cage for 18 years, his only companion in his old age. Thanks to a combination of circumstances, he takes along his granddaughter Renxing as he travels across the Chinese countryside. And so the old man and the city girl go on a journey through nature and memory…
The first Chinese film directed by a Frenchman, Le Promeneur d’oiseau by Philippe Muyl (Cuisines et dépendance, Le Papillon) tells a simple story about two generations getting to know one another; about a divided China – the ultra-modern and the decidedly rural. But beyond the magnificent natural settings and far from European clichés about Asia, this film is content with following a very conventional trajectory that is touching but too discrete.