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A Gentle Night

15m Drama 2017

Language:Wu languages with English Subtitles


Synopsis In a nameless Chinese city, a mother whose daughter has gone missing refuses to go gently into that good night.

Director’s Statement As a filmmaker, I’m always looking for inspiration from real life. The plot of A Gentle Night comes from a seemingly mundane local news story: a group of young girls suddenly disappeared, but after a few weeks, all of them just walked back home from nowhere. They gave no explanation. I was fascinated by this report - but mostly by what was not on the page. Why would the girls go missing? What did the families do when they came back? Then I incorporated traditional Chinese ideology into the film, a motif I always explore. In Confucianism, we have five sacred figures we are supposed to worship: sky, earth, sovereign, father, and teacher. But nowhere does it mention anything about women or children - the people who made up the heart of the news story.

Curators’ Notes Focusing on a mother’s search for her daughter in the dead of night, A Gentle Night’s understated style by no means limits its richness in character or emotion. Yang Qiu’s unique, sophisticated camera aesthetic brings with it a torrent of feeling, creating an intensity that earned Qiu the Short Film Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2017.

Festivals & Awards

2017 Festival de Cannes Short Film Competition Winner: Palme d’Or


Yang Qiu


Yang Qiu, Yi Li