Ash Is Purest White ★★★★½

"But I've been living as a jianghu just to find you."
. . .
"Am I that important?"
"If not you, then what is?"

In which Jia's character's must rapidly adapt to the economic and political (sur)reality around them. For the first time, the melodrama is as fluid as the history. Less schematic than Mountains May Depart's family-through-the-decades, Ash tests the relationship between Qiao (Zhao Tao) and Bin (Liao Fan) with the collision of personal convictions and the unrelenting march of time. Jia's approach here is less using these figures to chart change so much as follow their constant negotiation with it.

At the risk of revealing what a basic film
Bro I am, I almost put some fucking Kids See Ghosts lyrics here. Jeez.