Characters from all walks of life, action sequences and travels across the years and giant swatches of China form this film, based on the true-life story of a child kidnapping.

Scene from Dearest. Courtesy We Distribution
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Inspired by a true-story, Peter Chan’s heartbreaking film takes a look at the problem of child kidnapping in China. A divorced couple, Tian Wen-Jun (Bo Huang) and Lu (Hao Lei), are forced to reassess their priorities when their 3-year-old son is snatched. A search begins, one that carries on for many years and traverses many regions of China, but what’s most intrgiuing is the exploration of victim support groups and the mechanisms for coping with an unfathomable tragedy. The film features characters from all walks of life, as the action highlights how time passes, even if life all but stops. Some action sequences are interspersed amongst the riveting performances and artful cinematography by Shu Chou, but the big surprise comes when Chan flips the switch just when we think there may be a Hollywood ending and asks us to sympathise with a character that would ordinarily seem demonic. Powerful.

*Kaleem Aftab

Dearest screens at 10pm on Thursday, December 11 in Madinat Arena