Well Go U.S.A. will be releasing both DVD and Blu-ray editions of writer/director Yi’nan Diao’s stylish murder mystery, Black Coal, Thin Ice, on Sept. 29.
The winner of the prestigious Golden Bear for Best Director at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival, filmmaker Yi’nan Diao’s Black Coal, Thin Ice takes a different path than the epic historical dramas or the high-tension action films coming out of Mainland China these days (all with top-notch production values we might add).
This noirish entry follows the efforts of disgraced detective Zhang Zili (Fan Liao — Chinese Zodiac, Ocean Flame, etc.) to both gain redemption and to solve a five-year old case that was his undoing during his first attempt.
In the film’s prologue we meet Zhang as he launches into the investigation of a serial killer who likes to chop up his victims and scatter their body parts within coal shipments. What message is being sent proves elusive and Zhang botches the investigation … fellow officers die and his career is at an end.
Now skip ahead five years and our fiendish serial killer is back at it. Zhang is a drunk, barely hanging on as a rent-a-cop, but he sees in the new round of body part shipments a path to his salvation and jumps at it. If he could just solve the case all would be right with the world again.
His path leads to a dry cleaners and a woman named Wu (Lun Mei Gwei — Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, Girlfriend Boyfriend, etc.), who seems very much out of place. He sees in her a connection between both series of murders … and is strangely, perhaps fatally, attracted to her.
Black Coal, Thin Ice is presented in Mandarin with English subtitles.