River Road

Ruijun Li

RIVER ROAD is the story of two Yugur ethnic minority brothers, Bartel and Adikeer. They set out on a journey across the prairies of northwestern China in search of their parents, skillfully maneuvering their camels over the vast expanse of dry ground. The allure of the film's core components - the great outdoors, children, and animals - instantly catch our attention. Though realistic, the boys' journey, powered by dreams and anxiety, is depicted with a touch of fantasy. And to firmly establish his characters, director Li Ruijun imbues this impressive effort - a coming-of-age drama couched in the guise of an adventure - with a winning sense of humor rooted in careful attention to detail. At the heart of the film, however, is a mournful air, bemoaning the disappearance of ethnic minorities and the destruction of nature. As suggested by its epic scale, the work has the classic qualities of a film that allows us to enjoy being emotionally affected emotional by what we see.


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