Country: China
Language: Chinese
Year: 2005
Running Time: 129 min
Riding the new wave of Chinese cinema and sailing the waters of post-Cultural Revolution reminiscence, Zhang Yang has gathered together personal memories and salient moments of recent history in SUNFLOWER. An ode to change and an engaging analysis of the importance of the family as social unit in Chinese culture, SUNFLOWER centres on the hardship and conflicts of a father-son relationship.

It is 1976 and the death of Chairman Mao has brought an end to the tyranny of the Gang of Four. The painter Gengnian has spent years in a labour camp where his hands were permanently damaged. He returns home to his beloved wife Xiuqing and to his nine-year old son Xiangyang who, besides not recognizing him, is also deeply disturbed by the imposition of this new presence in his life. Refusing to acknowledge his clearly burgeoning talent in painting, Xiangyang lets a firecracker blow up in his hand – a desperate attempt to mirror his father’s injury and shatter Gengnian’s dreams for his son’s artistic career.

Decades go by in a whirlwind of events that produce a new China oblivious to its past and traditions. Ironically, Xiangyang has become a renowned painter yet still has a difficult relationship with his father.
Director Zhang Yang
Producer Peter Loehr
Executive Producer Bu Ting Yang
Executive Producer Michael J. Werner
Executive Producer Wouter Barendrecht
Production Company Ming Productions
Production Company Fortissimo Films
Production Company China Film Group
Screenplay Zhang Yang
Screenplay Ca Xiang Jun
Cinematography Jong Lin
Art Direction An Bin
Art Direction Huang Xin Ming
Music Hai Lin
Editor Hong Yu Yang
Sound Wu Lala
Lighting Li Hong Wang
Costume Hong Hui Xiang
Gao Ge
Joan Chen
Liang Jing
Liu Zi Feng
Sun Hai Ying
Wang Hai Di
Yu Hong
Zhang Yue
Winner Best Director & Jury Award Best Photography Competition San Sebastian, from the director of SHOWER, starring Joan Chen (Twin Peaks, The Last Emperor, Lust, Caution, Mao's Last Dancer)
Zhang Yang  | director
Zhang Yang was born March 28, 1967 in Beijing, China. He graduated from the Director's Department of the Central Theatre Academy. In 1997, he directed his first feature SPICY LOVE SOUP which was in competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and swept all the domestic Chinese awards. His second film SHOWER (1999) also went on to win awards at a wide array of festivals in Canada, Spain, Greece, Holland, the United States, Argentina and Italy. His third feature QUITTING (2001) scored at the Chinese box office and won FIPRESCI Prize at the Stockholm Film Festival. His fourth film SUNFLOWER (2004) won Best Director and Best Cinematography at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. His fifth film GETTING HOME (2007) won the Ecumenical Award at Berlin Film Festival. In 2010, he directed DRIVELESS.  FULL CIRCLE (2012) is his latest feature film.
2001    QUITTING
1999    SHOWER
Year Category Awarded By Award Result Award Recipient