Black Coal, Thin Ice
|Black Coal, Thin Ice|
|Directed by||Diao Yinan|
|Screenplay by||Diao Yinan|
|Running time||106 mins|
Black Coal, Thin Ice (Chinese: 白日焰火; pinyin: Bai Ri Yan Huo; literally: "Daylight Fireworks") is a 2014 Chinese thriller film written and directed by Diao Yinan. The film won the Golden Bear award at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.
The story is set in northern China in 1999 and 2004. A detective works to solve a series of murders where the victims dismembered parts are scattered across the province via coal shipments. The common thread is a female clerk in a dry cleaners.
- Liao Fan as Zhang Zili
- Gwei Lun-Mei as Wu Zhizhen
- Wang Xuebing as Liang Zhijun
- Wang Jingchun as Rong Rong
- Yu Ailei as captain Wang
- Ni Jingyang as Su Lijuan
The project started from Diao Yinan's idea to film a detective story. Diao spent eight years in total to write the screenplay; the final version that was filmed was the third draft. The film was then laid out into a detective film noir.
Liao Fan gained 44 pounds of weight to play the film's protagonist of an alcoholic and suspended police officer.
The film's English title Black Coal, Thin Ice is different from its Chinese title Bai Ri Yan Huo, which translates literally as Daylight Fireworks. Diao Yinan came across this phrase from a friend of his. Diao further clarified the meaning of "daylight fireworks" as a state of sentiment or a state of condition. For him, the Chinese and English names together helped to construct the difference between reality and fantasy. In an interview he explained, "Coal and ice both belong to the realm of reality, but fireworks in daylight is something fantastic; they are the two sides of the same coin." The English name refers to the two visual clues in the film: coal as "where the body parts were found" and ice as "where the murder was committed". He further explained, "when the two are combined, the reality of this murder is constructed ... while daytime fireworks is a fantasy, it is what we use to coat ourselves from the cruel side of this real world."
The film was shown in competition at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, and went on to win the Golden Bear prize for Diao. The film's leading actor Liao Fan also won the Silver Bear for Best Actor. The film received critical praises at the Berlin Film Festival, but audience reaction was more divided.
- "Weekly box office 07/04/2014 - 13/04/2014". english.entgroup.cn. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
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- "China’s 'Black Coal, Thin Ice' takes top prize at Berlin Film Festival". France 24. 16 February 2014. ""Black Coal, Thin Ice" divided audiences in Berlin but won critical praise. It is Diao's third feature film."
- "Asian glory as Berlin film fest wraps up". The Bangkok Post. 16 February 2014. ""Black Coal, Thin Ice" divided audiences in Berlin but won over many critics."
- "Competition Jan 15, 2014: Berlinale 2014: Competition Complete". berlinale.de. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Berlin Golden Bear Goes to China’s ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice,’ Jury Prize to ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’". Variety. 15 February 2014.
- "Berlin: Chinese Film Noir 'Black Coal, Thin Ice' Wins Golden Bear". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 February 2014.