If, hundreds of years from now, anyone wanted to know what it was like to be alive at this moment—what life felt like and what changes were occurring and the ways in which they affected us as individuals—they could get the whole picture from watching the films of Jia Zhangke. From the moment he burst on the scene with Xiao Wu in the late ’90s, this artist has given us a river of films, made with a team of regular collaborators (including his wife and principal actress Zhao Tao and his cinematographer Yu Lik-wai), each film as pungently human but wide in scope as a Breugel canvas. The world itself is a character in Jia’s films, urging the characters on and informing the speed of life. We’ve shown many of his movies in the NYFF over the years, from Platform in 2000 on, and we’re proud to have him here with his newest movie, Mountains May Depart, and we’re very happy that he’s agreed to join us for a talk about his extraordinary body of work.

Catch Jia Zhangke’s new film, Mountains May Depart, in this year’s Main Slate. Plus, don’t miss Walter Selles’s revealing portrait Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang.