Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 52m

Available to rent until Wednesday, August 5th. A six-film EAFFI 2020 festival package (€32.99) is available HERE.

Before you watch the film, scroll down to watch an exclusive introduction from director Jia Zhang-ke.

Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke (Platform; A Touch of Sin; Ash is Purest White) has spent the last decade exploring social and historical dimensions of China through fiction. Here he returns to his native province, Shanxi, to the Jia Family Village, in a documentary about China’s modern writers, part of a trilogy of ‘spiritual portraits’.

Structured ‘casually as flowing clouds’, the story is told through memories of the late writer-activist Ma Feng whose most creative period was the 17 years prior to the Cultural Revolution; testimonies of major contemporary writers, Jia Pingwa (born in the 1950s) focuses on the ‘Cultural Revolution’ and its aftermath; Yu Hua (born in the 1960s) speaks about China’s ‘reform and opening up’ period; and Liang Hong (born in the 1970s), whose work coincides with the present.

Beautifully shot, feelings are triggered by words, archive footage and contemporary images of people. A moving journey through words, framed faces and landscapes, city crowds, montages of the new world of megacities and people modern life, where ‘writing poetry doesn’t mean living a poetic life’.


Zhangke Jia


Zhangke Jia


Jiahuan Wan


Nelson Lik-wai Yu


Tao Zhao



Bonus Content

2 mins
Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu welcomes you to EAFFI 2020

Dublin’s 352nd Lord Mayor Hazel Chu welcomes you to the 4th East Asia Film Festival Ireland.

5 mins
Director Jia Zhang-ke introduces his new documentary 'Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue'

Join multi-award-winning filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke (‘Ash Is Purest White’) as he introduces his new documentary, filmed in his home town.

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