Ash Is Purest White

Critics Consensus

Ash Is Purest White finds writer-director Zhangke Jia revisiting familiar themes while continuing to observe modern Chinese society with an urgent, empathetic eye.

99%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 152

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 202

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Movie Info

In an industrial city in China, a young dancer named Qiao falls in love with a mobster named Bin. When a fight breaks out between rival gangs, Qiao uses a gun to protect Bin and is sent to prison for five years.

Cast & Crew

Diao Yi-nan
Lin Jiadong
Zhang Yibai
ZhangKe Jia
Screenwriter
ZhangKe Jia
Executive Producer
Ren Zhonglun
Executive Producer
Eric Gautier
Cinematographer
Matthieu Laclau
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Ash Is Purest White

Critic Reviews for Ash Is Purest White

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (1)

  • Zhao Tao just gives this powerhouse performance. It's so understated and her work -- and the film as a whole -- really do accumulate in their emotional resonance.

    September 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • As a gangster morality tale "Ash" is pretty mild; as a picture of China and Qiao's struggle it's much better.

    June 21, 2019 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Qiao scams philandering men, seemingly driven by the desire to punish Bin. And yet the film, slowly, reveals more melancholic aims, guiding a low-key finale towards a mournful evocation of what China has lost on the way towards modernisation.

    April 26, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The story is so richly novelistic the temptation is just to synopsise - but that risks not only spoilers, but failing to convey how much wonder is conjured beyond the plot, the stellar performance of Zhao, the insta-futuristic landscapes...

    April 25, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Fascinating in its balance between microcosm and aerial view, but the performances definitely raise more emotional heat.

    April 24, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This is one of Zhangke's peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you've seen before.

    April 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ash Is Purest White

  • Sep 24, 2019
    Functions as sort of an anti-genre gangster film with a melancholy tone and an emphasis on the hard ways the passage of time changes people, countries, and landscapes. Tao Zhao's performance is incredible.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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