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With the aim to promote more open communication in current turbulent and challenging times, Odyssey focuses on contemporary Chinese films in a diverse range of themes and genres aiming to showcase Chinese society’s diverse culture and aesthetics to British audiences. The programme will launch with its opening film, Hard Love in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception, followed by two special offline screenings at the Picturehouse and The Prince Charles cinemas in London on 12th May and 17th May.

The opening film, Hard Love, centres on the wave of single Chinese ladies. It discusses social hotspots like love, marriage, family, work, and childbirth, which today’s youth are most concerned about. Spanning eight cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, San Francisco, and Phu Quoc Island, this documentary offers a group portrait of Chinese single women within a delicately-designed 97 minutes. Modern single women are also a heated topic for young people in the UK. Based on this mutual curiosity, this opening film shall go beyond the national boundary and bring audiences together.

A classic that has come through decades of critics, Lan Yu is one of the best gay films that China has ever produced. The film is not driven by homosexuality; it is a story about love. Its storytelling captures the arc of two souls and the vicissitudes of Beijing over a decade. This 20th anniversary 4K restoration version brings its 90s tonality to life to the fullest.

FIRST’s recent favourite, River of Salvation, unfolds a down-to-earth portrait of life in a small town in southern China. With a meticulous narrative structure and its ‘last six minutes reversal,’ the script draws enormous emotional power from the deeply buried history of millions of ordinary women and their everyday struggles.


Opening Film

Hard Love
1h 37m Documentary 2021

Special Pop-up Screenings

Lan Yu 4K
1h 26m Drama, Love 2001
River of Salvation
1h 44m Love; Drama; Family; Crime 2020