Private Project


Filmmaker Deng Wei’s grandfather Zuogui has been blind since the age of three, living most of his life as a fortune teller and raising many children. Now approaching the final chapter of his life, Zuogui lives a life of bitter discontent toward his son (and Wei’s father) Donggu, a businessman who is set on earning the respect not afforded him as a child. Donggu works as a property developer to provide his family with a good life, but when a job-site accident forces him into financial hardship, it prompts a re-examination of his priorities and values—one that may lead the father and son to finally form a bond of respect, perhaps even love. Set against the vast transformation and economic change within contemporary Chinese society, Wei’s quiet fly-on-the-wall cinematography captures the fraught relationship between his father and grandfather as they negotiate past resentments and an uncertain future.

  • Deng Wei
  • Deng Wei
  • Deng Wei
  • Deng Zuogui
    Key Cast
    "The Grandfather"
  • Deng Donggu
    Key Cast
    "The Father"
  • Luo Zhenyu
    Key Cast
    "The Mother"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 37 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    150,000 CNY
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital,HDCAM,Sony 4k MXF
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Leipzig International Documentaryand Short Film Festival
    October 26, 2021
    European premiere
    Best Documentary Award - Golden Dove
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
    May 6, 2021
    North Amerrican Premiere
    Best Feature Documentary Award
  • Asian American International Film Festival
    New York
    August 22, 2021
    U.S. premiere
    Emerging Director - Documentary Award
  • Golden Horse Film Festival
    November 8, 2020
    Taiwan, China
    Golden Horse Film Festival (2020) ,Golden Horse Award [Nominee] Best Documentary
Director Biography - Deng Wei

DENG Wei, Director.
Graduated from the Film and video Art major of The Central Academy of Fine Arts with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. He holds a doctor's degree in Fine Arts of The Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is currently teaching at the School of Architecture, South China University of Technology.

The first documentary film Father won:
-64THDOK Leipzig -International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film Golden Dove Award
-36THEntrevues Belfort Film Festival-The Grand Jury Award Janine Bazin for Best Feature Film
-44TH Asian American International Film Festival-Emerging Director Documentary Award
-2021 DOXA Documentary Film Festival-Feature Documentary Award
-2021 Kadoma International Film Festival-Best Documentary in the Foreign Film Category
-Nominated by the 61THCartagena International Film Festival、57TH Golden Horse Film Festival for Best Documentary

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Life is a spontaneous chance. From the moment each and every one of us is born into this world, we create a blood bond with others as family and relatives.

This film a true story of my grandfather Zuogui, and father Donggu. Donggu is a real estate "boss" who spends most of his life building houses for other people. But against Zuogui's protest, he demolishes the old house in which Zuogui spends his life living, causing a rift between them. Zuogui is a blind man and works as a fortune-teller. He knows his predetermined fate but keeps fighting it all his life. Also knowing the fate of his son Donggu, Zuogui puts aside the past and, out of love, tries to persuade Donggu to stop his project. One side is this determined disaster, the other side is the reality of cruel reality, Donggu and Zuogui struggle between the course of China's modernization and social transformation, pondering on their life direction.

When I grow up, my father grows old and my grandfather says it’s his time to go. Thankfully, I am able to record this last part of my grandfather's life, as well as images and voices of his and my father's generation on affection, love, dignity, loneliness, hometown, life, and death. When I create an emotional bond between them, I get a deeper comprehension of life.

Life has its course and an end, yet the everlasting, hidden emotions are proof that we have ever been alive. They are a source of power, keeping us from fearing death.