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BFI London Film Festival: Angels Wear White
Saturday 14 October
1:00 PM | >>> Official competition <<<
Mia, a teenage drifter without official papers, is illegally working a hotel-reception night shift when she witnesses something disturbing and suspicious. At a nearby school the next day, 12-year-old Wen and her friend get into a fight, which leads their teachers to suspect that the girls have been assaulted while in the care of a police commissioner.
These events are the catalyst for this astonishing drama, which focuses on Mia and Wen over the days that follow. Director Vivian Qu follows her debut Trap Street (LFF2013 First Feature Competition) with a film that contrasts gripping realism with poignant imagery and subtle symbolism.
Aided by the breakout performances of its two young leads, Angels Wear White conjures up a complex tale of blackmail and corruption that has us empathising with characters even as they make morally questionable choices.
Qu’s compassionate, feminist approach illustrates Mia’s and Wen’s internal lives, while showing how the trouble they’re in is the result of systemic problems, particularly the way sexuality is imposed on – and used to control – the bodies of women and girls.
This is urgent contemporary Chinese filmmaking that packs a devastating emotional punch.
- Kate Taylor
This event is wheelchair accessible.