Director: Zhao Dayong
After graduating from China’s Lu Xun Art Academy in 1992, where he specialized in oil painting, Zhao worked for a number of years as a professional artist and advertising director, first in Beijing and later in Guangzhou. In 1997, he found Guangzhou Dake, a design company. He was also founding editor of Culture & Morals, a journal for the contemporary arts in China. Zhao began exploring the medium of digital video in 2002. The High Life, completed in March 2010, is Zhao's first narrative feature. The film received the FIPRESCI Prize and the Silver Digital Award following its world premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March-April 2010.
A female inmate in a bleak correction facility reads aloud the verses of a prison guard who is an aspiring writer of “trash poetry” to a table of inmates folding cellophane flowers as part of their forced labor. In each of the stories that follow, the search for redeeming beauty in the midst of social, cultural and political isolation motivates the lives of the film’s characters.