Experiencing Interruptions?

The Last Farewell

Song Tao, who has moved to Paris for 20 years. One day, she went to a screening and found the film recorded her hometown -the last image before KaiXian was demolished. Thus she met the director of the film, apparently there is a connection between them, Through a conversation at dinner, they found out they were at the same temple 10 years ago, only perfectly missed each other. They stepped into her memory. The story of her past reveals.

  • CAO Zhehui
  • CAO Zhehui
  • LIU Cheng-yin
  • LIU Yanne
    Key Cast
  • Lucie Teng Duvert
    Key Cast
    "SONG Tao"
  • Cheng Xingxing
    Key Cast
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  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 EUR
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Director Biography - CAO Zhehui

Cao Zhehui, born in 1995, 23 years old, has been working on photography for many years. He studied and studied in the field of contemporary art and participated in a series documentary "Re-recognizing Contemporary Art"; "The Last Farewell" is the first short film. There is no award-winning experience.

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Director Statement

My inspiration comes from life. This story is based on a real experience of a friend, and strengthened it by interviews with several people from similar background. The theme I would like to discuss in the story is about “Coming Home”. Placing a Chinese story in a Western city like Paris, it may sound slightly odd. However, I witnessed this kind of stories repeating in front of my eyes, which empowered me to portrayed this accelerating phenomenon. Paris is a city hustling with immigrants and foreign workers, as they do not go back to hometown as frequent, it is not easy for them to adapt to the rapid change happening back home. Especially in China, in the developing small towns.

Due to the boundless expanding of urbanization, small towns either disappear in this modernizing tsunami, or merge into the big cities around. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. Country like China is still undergoing huge changes, while things seem to come to a grinding halt in France, maybe this is a situation not expected by those who took courage and left their home of origin. In this era, different cultural backgrounds sparkled by different encounters, while how much is being forgotten? Such as the friend of mine, she never went back to her hometown, I was curious about how she made her decision at the first place, curious about all the touching stories since then. I am not natured to French cultural background, it does not fit me to come up with an original story born under French cultural background. However this pushed me to investigate more about Chinese mentality and way of living. The conflicts and reflections of the mix of cultures, what I want to show is not only the difference between cultures, but as well the reasons behind. I suppose every vagabond has thought about whether to go home or not.

At the beginning stage of my script, I realized my life experience is inadequate, I do not completely understand the psychology of the older generations. I started to interview the people of my interest, they are second generation immigrants, single mom who just arrived Paris for two weeks, documentary director who travels alone to different cities, middle-age man who can never return due to a specific reason and missed his family’s funeral. I try to think in their perspective and understand their decisions, which get me more interested in this topic. “Can’t go back” and “Don’t want to go back” are the two main reasons. As the idea of “returning home with wealth and success” is deeply rooted in Chinese minds, within this struggle, here comes the story of my main character. To my knowledge, these reasons can be accepted, be it Paris or hometown. Last but not least, “the last town” that disappeared in the world, is not a fictional idea, it actually happened 11 years ago. There were 129 towns being demolished and sinked into the water, KaiXian is one of them. While the real life inspiration of the main character, my friend, she now has a nice life with her sweet family living in this transient city of Paris.