“You watch too many gangster films,” Qiao (played by Zhao Tao) told Bin (Liao Fan) in Ash is Purest White. However, you can be sure that Bin has never watched the gangster movie he is starring in. The film directed and written by Jia Zhangke is a great epic that is also a gangster film, but also more bizarre and sad, haunting, and sometimes a strange contemplation of mortality, loyalty, and the soul of modern China.
Qiao is a gangster’s girlfriend. Qiao claimed that he was not part of “jiangshu”, the underground brotherhood in which Qiao’s girlfriend joined. Qiao also claimed that he was more concerned with his elderly father and living in a coal mining town that nearly died near where he lived. However, with his sharp bob hair and calm confidence like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, Qiao was very capable of taking care of the gangster business, greeting each “brother” with subtle bumps when he came to where they played mahjong, and ensuring that the debts were already paid and those who are late paying are punished. Bin, his big-shouldered and sharp-jawed girlfriend, was a lieutenant trusted by the region’s largest property developer and club owner. Games Online dan Offline
When their mob attacked Bin on a busy street one night – their weapon was a garden shovel – Qiao saved Bin’s life by firing firearms without permission into the air. Qiao then swore to the police that the weapon was his, so Bin was only jailed for a year, while Qiao had to be imprisoned for five years.
The theme that later emerged from this film was about a constantly changing world. People are getting older, relations are fading, so are crime syndicates, and China is also changing as cities become developed and the Three Gorges Dam in China causes kilometers of rural areas to be submerged in water.
She spent 5 years in prison for having weapons illegal, and Bin did not visit him during this time. After being released, Qiao tried to contact him but was never connected. She does boat trip to the city in Hubei Province where she lives, she is precisely welcomed by Bin’s new lover, Bin is hiding in another room. Qiao explained that if she wanted to break up with himself, he did must tell Qiao himself. Qiao hired a biker to take her to the power plant where she thinks Bin works. Qiao made use of the chance to steal a motorbike and when she gets to the power plant she is reported to the police officer the driver tried to rape her and she must contact her lover Bin. This eventually forced Bin to see herself. Bin said he changed, and he didn’t has a place in his life for Qiao again. Qiao told she save his life and blame herself: he should have waited for her in the day she got out of prison. Because he refused to say it, he told finally explained that their relationship was over, and Qiao left. On the train to Datong, Qiao met an interesting passenger which is now developing a UFO hunting tourism company, he invited him join in. But after they moved to another train, the person said claiming it was a lie. She got off the train when she slept, saw UFOs flying overhead, and head back to Datong. A few years later Qiao received a call from Bin, and when he picked her up, Qiao found him in the rosa chair and couldn’t walk. She took him to their old gambling room where she now works, and also many of his old friends are happy to see him. He is now closed and bad-tempered, immediately fought with many people, and Qiao almost drove him away. He explained to him he had a stroke because too much drink, and also he found a doctor to help rehabilitate it. Once he was able to walk he slipped out of the building Qiao without saying goodbye. Qiao ran out the door on when he found Bin gone, but Bin could not be found.
Not many filmmakers are as detailed or poetic as Jia about the passage of time: the location of buildings or smartphone technology has become an obsession. And, Zhao – Jia’s wife – responded to a difficult acting challenge, transforming herself in a subtle way that Qiao had to become harder and more tired as time passed. Towards the end of the film, you will feel as old as Qiao: I don’t mind if the film is a half hour shorter. You might wonder if Bin is worth Qiao’s effort, or whether he should better forget Bin. But of course he can’t. Despite the fact, he survives with the belief that even though everything withers, love remains eternal.