China's Film-makers Depict Winter

Mountains May Depart (2015)

Updated: Feb 18, 2020 Print
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Mountains May Depart (2015)

IMDb ratings: 6.8/10

Mountains May Depart is a 2015 drama directed by Jia Zhangke, one of China’s Sixth Generation filmmakers.

The film’s story depicts its characters at three different times, 1999, 2014 and 2025. The first two transpire in China and center on a character played by Jia’s muse (and wife) Zhao Tao.

The third time period, which takes place mainly in Australia, finds Zhao’s character not entirely absent but sidelined to the point that the movie inevitably suffers.

The first part of the film is set, as many earlier Jia films are, in the director’s hometown of Fenyang, in northern China. [Photo/poster of Shan he gu ren]
Fenyang, known as Fenyang County before 1996, is a county-level city in Shanxi province, China. [Photo/poster of Shan he gu ren]
Shanxi province in China is synonymous with tourism due to its variety of natural and man-made tourist attractions. [Photo/sipaphoto]

Some of the 14th-century monuments date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Their styles reflect the economic development and architectural grandeur of the region.

Apart from numerous cultural relic sites, Shanxi province is also known across China for its numerous inviting hot springs, especially prevalent in the province's north, middle and south. Some of the best can be found in Datong, Xinzhou, Linfen and Yuncheng cities, with Xinzhou's the highest rated.

There are more than 200 geothermal areas with water temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius, including 25 naturally-formed outdoor hot springs. Temperatures in outdoor pools range from 0 C to 20 C; a few are above 61 C.

Making the most of their geothermal resources, the province's cities are boosting winter tourism based on their hot springs, and have built new resorts to attract more visitors.

The travel industry has encouraged the trend, with many tour operators including hot spring resorts into their travel itineraries while also taking tourists to Shanxi's top cultural attractions.

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