2018 CANNES Cinephile Society Jury Prize, Best Actress (T. Zhao)
Defying convention in all his films to surprise his audience, Jia Zhang-ke’s latest Cannes contender portrays China’s capitalist transformation through a romantic tragedy set within the gangster world. Inspired from jianghu, the Chinese mafia films of John Woo and Johnnie To, Ash Is Purest White follows Qiao, who is in love with the gangster Bin. Following a shootout, Qiao is apprehended and imprisoned. When she is released five years later, she begins looking for Bin in a country that has changed beyond belief. Director Zhang-ke describes his films as the story of "a couple who live on the margins of society—my lost youth and my fantasy about the future. To live, to love and to be free..."