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The Belcourt reopens Fri, April 23 with these New Releases. Please read our Health and Safety Precautions and FAQs.
Ends Thu, Mar 18


  • Dir. Lina Wang
  • China
  • 2021
  • 86 min.
  • NR

In Uighur and Mandarin with English subtitles

  • Subtitled
PRICE*: $10 ($8 members) | VIEWING WINDOW: 3 days
WATCH ON: Computer, tablet, smartphone, Chromecast, AirPlay (or use a HDMI cable to connect your computer or tablet with your TV)
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Wang Lina’s experimental debut explores the sensitivity shared by narrative filmmaking and documenting reality, unveiling poetry from the minutiae of Uighurs’ life in Xinjiang like none other. Tailing an endearing boy named Isa in Shaya, her heavenly home village surrounded by textured sand dunes and millennia-old trees, she tugs viewers’ heartstrings with a story about treasures in his carefree childhood and how they gradually fade away — as love, home and personal advancement get weighed against another for this generation of minority children, who must bid many farewells to assimilate into the more widely acknowledged best life.

Winner of the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus section at the Berlinale and the Asian Future award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

“Dedicated to her hometown of Shaya, Xinjiang, and filled with both affection and a clear-eyed understanding of its woes, this Uighur-language coming-of-age story is restrained in scale yet rousing in emotional impact.” —Sarah Ward, Screen International

“...Thrives on humanity rather than dogma, and offers poetry rather than propaganda…. The film conjures up a quietly heartbreaking drama that works on multiple levels.” —Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter

“As captivating a debut anyone could dream of making…. A painter-poet manifests superbly in this visual love-letter to Xinjiang.” —James Cansdale-Cook, Asian Movie Pulse

“A FIRST FAREWELL might be another sign of independent cinema revival in China…. [Director] Wang Lina avoids stereotyping and exoticization.” —Maja Korbecka, Easternkicks

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and as well as through general internet searches.

See the Official Website