Private Project

Why We Are Unhappy in Cities/(41')

A youth's life falls into chaos following the breaking of his beloved lighter: his lover leaves him and he loses his job. The youth desperately seeks for a way to fix his lighter as a way to mend his ruined life, but in the process ends up losing the lighter itself. He tells his troubles to a foreign child, yet the child only wonders whether or not a certain bird in the sky is named Alice. One speaks English and the other Chinese, and the two end up speaking for quite some time despite not being able to understand each other.

When the youth finally sees his lighter again, he already has a newly born child, yet seeing the lighter in the hands of a stranger causes the youth to take desperate action ...

This is a movie that explores the relationship between people and things, and at the same time is a fable about city life.

  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    41 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 8, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Zhao Gang has worked as a laborer, reporter, and held various odd jobs. He left these lines of work and became a professional author in 1995, primarily writing and exploring New Chinese novels. Among China's contemporary novelists, his writing is known for its independent directions, consciousness, and brimming vitality. His works have been adopted by various organizations for the screen. He collaborated briefly with Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami on scriptwriting. "Why We Are Unhappy in Cities" is his first production as film director.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This is my first movie.
I am a writer and have never studied film. One day, I suddenly wanted to make a movie----the movie you see now.
In this film, I am a director and screenwriter, and I also played a secret film role: camera lens, and have a realistic level of communication with the male and female protagonists. Never in my memory has a film been treated similarly.
This is my new exploration and attempt of film art. I hope you enjoy my movie, and hope to get your support for help.