In person: Midi Z, director
Watch the trailer.
Director Midi Z was only five years old when his oldest brother, Zhao, abandoned the family at age sixteen. There were rumors that he’d found riches in the mythical “City of Jade.” When he reappeared at his father’s funeral in 1997, Zhao was poor and addicted to opium. Years later, Midi Z had moved to Taiwan and become a film director, and Zhao was released from a Mandalay prison. Weak but still hopeful of finding a big jade gemstone to become rich overnight, he set off once again for the mines, just like countless others in Myanmar’s war-torn Kachin State on the border with China. This time, Midi Z accompanied Zhao with his camera, following him on his motorbike through the jungle, pushing ever further into the dangerous inner core of an inaccessible man’s world. This is a place where heroes, adventurers, and desperate souls live and toil: digging, drilling, and searching for jade, hunted by bands of soldiers and plagued by malaria, with opium spurring them as they pursue their dream of great wealth. City of Jade documents a moving cinematic attempt to bring two very different brothers closer together. Description adapted from the Berlin International Film Festival. (Dir.: Midi Z, Taiwan/Myanmar, 2016, 99 min., DCP, Burmese and Mandarin with English subtitles)