The Half Hitching Post

Yang Fudong

3 May 2005

7’ 19”

Investigates the structure and formation of identity through myth, personal memory and lived experience. Each of his films is a dramatic existential experience and a challenge, open-ended and inconclusive, therefore open to individual interpretation. Yang Fudong mostly portrays his own generation, individuals in their late 20s and early 30s who seem confused and appear to hover between the past and present. His work epitomises the recent and rapid modernisation of China and its threat to the country’s traditional values and culture. The Half Hitching Post is set against the extraordinary panorama of the Loess Plateau in Northern China, in An Sai, Shanbei, a small and isolated village of that area. Two young men appear to be moving in, conspicuously sharply dressed and beset with difficulties of the harsh terrain. Meanwhile a young couple are struggling just as hard to escape. The cinematic quality is achingly beautiful, accompanied by a drawn-out sense of suspense. As one scene builds upon another with pressing intensity, the narrative both draws us in and confounds our ability to make sense of it. Yang Fudong deftly plays with the viewer, leaving the threads of the narrative untied, which only heightens our fascination.