The idea for this documentary film is itself very poetic: to see young hands wash away the pain & illness of the dead is touching, but it also comes at a price to the soul. But the beauty is how this film shows that death need not be morbid & free of hope, for it can also serve as a catalyst for the living to move on and discover life with a greater sense of purpose. A powerful, subtle & sensitively shot documentary.
This is a jewel of a film. Stunningly shot and edited, the contrast between the remorseless "machine" of the mortuary and the tender, hopeful life of the young girl who works there is something that resonates on many levels. This is a quiet work of real power and artistry, and it deserves to be widely seen.
I really enjoyed the window on China youth, and the exploration of a funeral parlor life. I don't get the end, is she going into a nursing role after mastering the funeral role? CPR on corpses is not that useful, usually. A bit of fiction like thread would not have hurt.
Fascinating insight into another culture's attitude and dealings with death. Simultaneously looking at the central young woman coming to terms with being far from home and making her way in the world, forging friendships and getting trained to wash the dead free from their pain and illness and prepare them for their journey onwards.
This was one of a handful of films I had a chance to see at this year's Berlinale. It's an exceptionally beautiful, intimate and personal study of a young woman, on the cusp of adulthood, finding her way in the world by attending to the dead. There is so much careful observation and empathy in the filmmaking that it becomes essential and compelling viewing.