Ash Is Purest White ★★★★

AFI Fest 2018: Movie #2

“Why did you save me?”

What a strange take on a relationship drama. Ash Is Purest White follows one woman over the course of three major moments of her adulthood during a 17-year period across China. In a sense she undergoes some major life changes, yet ultimately ends up in a rather similar state. 

We see how well she manages on her own, how tough she can be, and yet she seems to do everything in her power to avoid being independent. She needs someone to be with her, even if they hardly care for her at all. Her source of personal comfort seems to come from giving her care to someone else, even if she doesn’t see it that way. Zhao Tao is perfect in the lead role, bringing needed authenticity to a character that could’ve felt so morally incompatible. This was full of surprises.

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