Secretly shot in China — which forbids independent filmmaking — this austere, slow-moving drama relates the true story of Qi Lei (Hongshen), a young avant-gardist who expresses contempt for his oppressive society with self-abasing performance art. Qi Lei’s final statement is his ”ice burial,” during which he’ll lie amid chunks of ice until he freezes to death. The climactic act and surprising aftermath prove well worth the wait.
(0:19) Two fellow artists make their own statement of revulsion, sitting down to force-feed themselves bars of soap.
The Last Detail
In the credits, director Wang Xiaoshuai uses the pseudonym Wu Ming, Mandarin for ”No Name.”