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A crew arrives in a small town in southern China for pre-production on a film titled Ripples of Life. Initially, the story is based on the premise that life is dull and nothing ever happens in towns like this. But to the crew’s surprise, a series of unforeseen events involving the director, the screenwriter, the lead actress, and the local residents begin to occur. Director Wei Shujun, whose debut feature, Striding into the Wind, screened at CineCina Film Festival in 2021, makes Ripples of Life consistently self-aware, yet it never takes itself too seriously.
Divided into three chapters and told from a trio of perspectives, the film gives us a glimpse into contemporary Chinese independent filmmaking, with a pleasing undercurrent of humor.