Ash is Purest White
98% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes
A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld-setting, ASH IS PUREST WHITE is less a gangster movie than a melodrama.
With a three-part structure, it begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Tao Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Fan Liao) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives, and continues Jia Zhangke’s body of work as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations.
"No one makes movies like Mr. Jia does. He's a dramatist with the eye of a documentarian and the instincts of a historian, even a geographer. But he's also a romantic poet, and his heroine... is driven by love as far as it can take her."
"There's a timeless quality to Qiao and Bin's relationship, to its elemental cycles of loyalty, power, and humiliation."
"This is a movie about how time and circumstance conspire to make dazed, restless wanderers of us all."