Film Detail

Piano in a Factory

Zhang Meng / China / 2010 / 107 min


Directed by emerging auteur Zhang Meng (recipient of the Asian New Talent Award at the 2007 Shanghai International Film Festival), THE PIANO IN A FACTORY is the latest in a series of acclaimed Chinese films concerned with the human cost of the country’s rapid economic development. But while other films in this de facto subgenre, such as Jia Zhang-ke’s STILL LIFE (2008) and Lixin Fan’s LAST TRAIN HOME (2009), have skewed sad, PIANO tempers its pathos with a refreshing comic whimsy. Chen is a musical entertainer employed at a deteriorating steel plant. Embroiled in a custody battle with his estranged wife, he is at pains to acquire a piano, which he hopes will secure the affections of his musically inclined daughter. This leads to a string of failed schemes, including a bungled robbery at a music school, before Chen enlists the assistance of his long-suffering girlfriend and a cadre of ragtag locals to build the perfect piano. While this plot has the makings of great melodrama, PIANO IN A FACTORY is more attuned to the unexpected moments of hilarity that arise from these unfortunate circumstances. The film’s warm cinematography and Zhang’s inspired direction, which captures the beauty within even the most banal rural settings, also contribute to the buoyancy, as does a soundtrack of spirited Chinese, Russian and Western numbers sung by the cast. These aesthetic elements augment PIANO’s optimism, forging an offbeat cinematic experience in which camaraderie and parental love endure China’s changing times. Curran Nault


  • Director: Zhang Meng
  • Executive Producer: Kwak Jae-yong
  • Producer: Jessica Kam, Choi Gwang-suk
  • Cinematographer: Shu Chou
  • Writer: Zhang Meng, Xianzhi Xiao
  • Editor: Gao Bo


Sat 03.12 630pm

Sun 03.13 830pm

Sat 03.19 100pm


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