Xiao Liu returns to his hometown to visit his grandmother, who is critically ill and in a coma. In an attempt to grow closer to Xiao Liu, his grandfather takes him into the wilderness to hunt wild dogs. Late at night, the grandchild discusses the love between his grandparents in the past, and whether his grandmother feels pain. While the two decide to cook his grandmother’s favorite dish overnight, the bedridden grandmother suddenly opens her eyes…
Yong Kang, born on November 27, 1995, graduated from the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications Department of Film and Television in 2018, and has accrued 5 years of outdoor hiking experience. Since graduation, he has been working on independent documentaries and short stories. His most notable work is a collection of short stories titled Trapped.
Soiled Sights is an adaptation of the director’s own short story The Hound. It also marks the director’s first short drama and will be featured as an additional section in the director’s upcoming feature film.
As a director, he is greatly influenced by the Greek film master Angelopoulos, whose film aesthetics constantly explored the possibility of space and time hidden both inside and outside the film. Angelopoulos believed that film is defined by the relationship between space and time, and nothing else.
During the winter break in 2016, I went back home to visit my grandmother. While drinking tea, she told me about an incident that occurred not too long ago.
A seventy-year-old woman living alone in the same village had died in her home as a result of soot poisoning. A week had passed before her body was found, and the autopsy report stated that she had been laughing before she died, hinting at the possibility of suicide.
Before this incident, the old woman’s two children had died unexpectedly in an accident, leaving only one grandson who never came to see her.
After the grandmother finished telling me about this, she began sighing incessantly. I believe I understood the reason for her emotion.
The ups and downs of love are unpredictable. Although life is intended to be orderly, a person’s world can change in a flash. So, how exactly do we face this pain?
Quite often, what we consider as pain or pleasure may diminish in importance through the lens of real-life experience. The important thing is, in that moment, whether the person truly cares about what they are experiencing. If their heart is devoid of any “obsession”, then there is no such thing as pain or elation. As for what choices other people will make, it is irrelevant.
This way of facing suffering is not only found in stories from Buddhist sermons; it is a universal feeling, regardless of place or time.
In light of this, I wanted to use a method that was closer to the stage to construct an environment devoid of time and space to the greatest extent possible in which the story takes place, in order to more poignantly convey an atmosphere of universal values in the face of suffering.
In 2020, we have witnessed all sorts of absurdities and suffering. Young people rarely take care of themselves now, and the middle-aged have mostly lost their reverence for the values of the past. Grabbing the megaphone of public discourse has become a modern-day trend, and there is a sense of powerlessness in the myriad ways our culture is being dismantled. In response to this, my wish is that a power similar to religion may emerge, which can restore the people’s awareness of a higher set of values.