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Black Blood
dir. Miaoyan Zhang / China, France 2011 / 123’
subtitles: Polish and English


Mao Danhui, Liu Mengjuan, Yingying


Rotterdam IFF 2011 – NEPTAC Award

Film description

Away from China’s great urban centers, a remote, barren land is at the mercy of sand storms and nearby nuclear tests. In order to survive, its inhabitants resort to selling their own blood. To support his family, Xiaolin, ignores both the traditional taboos on trading one’s own body and the risks of infection.

The film’s unaffected style is a perfect fit for its characters’ desperation: the long takes deliver a feeling of suspended dread, black and white images recalling Bresson’s poetic works. The landscape is a central element, as industry exploits natural resources in the same way that predatory merchants exploit the bodies of the population. Rosy government propaganda flowing from the radio is tragic satire of Xiaolin’s reality.

Prepared by: Jagoda Murczyńska

Information about director

Miaoyan Zhang

Director Miaoyan Zhang was born in Manchuria (Northeast China) in 1964. He grew up in the midst of the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution and had very little contact with film until later in life. During the 1980s, he studied art at the Nanjing Arts Institute and worked as arts editor for a culture magazine. In 1992 he was able to enroll at University of California, Berkeley, where he came into contact with a wide range of cinematic works. He is the author of fiction works representing contemporary Chinese realities – his writings are censored in China. He made his first feature film, Xiaolin Xiaoli, in 2006, depicting life in a Chinese metropolis.


2007 Xiaolin Xiaoli

2011 Czarna krew / Black Blood

Prepared by: Jagoda Murczyńska


director: Miaoyan Zhang
screenplay: Miaoyan Zhang, Yang Zhihong
cinematography: Miaoyan Zhang
editing: Miaoyan Zhang
music: Annette Bauer, Andy F. Butler
cast: Mao Danhui, Liu Mengjuan, Yingying
producer: Miaoyan Zhang, Guillaume de Seille, Rémi Roy, Benedicte Thomas
production: Rice Production, Arizona Films
awards: Rotterdam IFF 2011 – NEPTAC Award
language: Mandarin
colouration: b&w
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