Countries: Hong Kong, China

Year: 2020

Genre: drama

Director: Zheng Lu Xinyuan

Duration: 101 minutes

“Dreamlike”, “transitory”, “driftily disjointed” – reviewers have used these terms fittingly to describe Zheng Lu Xinyuan’s debut feature, The Cloud in Her Room, which follows Muzi (Jin Jing), an aimless 22-year-old university graduate returning to her hometown of Hangzhou, China, whose landscape has changed almost beyond recognition. Dialogue and narrative take a back seat to Zheng’s wistful investigation of mood in this black-and-white film, which pastes together scenes from ordinary domestic life and long, exacting shots exploring intimacy between characters and its inevitable dissipation. 

In between, dream-like sequences are inverted in infrared. The effect of A Cloud’s depiction of alienation, loneliness, and longing in contemporary city life is uncanny and almost fantastical. 

This seems to be what Zheng desired; in interviews, the filmmaker has expressly guarded against interpretation in favour of sensory experience, saying: “I don’t have a strong message to deliver. But I have a moment to share.”

Location: 23 May, Sala Voievozilor, Palatul Culturii