A rebellious teenager endures boarding school expulsion, family pressures and the harsh realities of rural life in northern China, until an uncovered secret from his past changes his life forever.
Er Dong lives alone with his devout Christian mother in a small village. Frustrated with his bad behavior, his mother takes him to a Christian school with the hope that he will find God as well as a new direction in life. Instead, he finds a girlfriend, Changae, and their misconduct leads to their expulsion. Together they must face up to the harsh realities of work, parenthood and adult life in the tough economic reality of contemporary China. Recurring nightmares that plague Er Dong lead him to a shocking revelation of his own past.
Yang Jin's second feature is a detail-rich, documentary-style portrait that builds with clear-eyed assurance through the life of a seemingly unheroic and unremarkable country boy. It's not until the film looks backwards that one gains the full scope of Er Dong's strangely epic journey. Quietly moving and full of authentic insight into the prospects for youth in rural China, ER DONG announces the arrival of a major new talent in filmmaker Yang Jin.
Hubert Bals Fund Recipient, Rotterdam International Film Festival
New Currents Award, Pusan International Film Festival
Hong Kong International Film Festival
"Director Yang Jin uses the government system for the plot of his movie to show how it twirls one’s life from birth to the end."
Marie Lee, Asian Movie Pulse