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Return to Dust

  Li Ruijun

  China     133 minutes


In this unlikely love story, social outcasts Ma and Guiying are married off to each other —a union of convenience that both families expect to be filled with isolation and misery. Despite such desultory beginnings, husband and wife slowly begin to understand, respect, and depend on one another and, against the odds, create a loving home. Set against a stark backdrop of urbanization, poverty, and worker exploitation, this deceptively simple narrative carries with it a rare humanity and warmth. Commanding landscape photography lends the story an epic scope to create a sweeping meditation on the joys and sorrows of life on the margins.

 Mandarin with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Virtual Screening

Available to stream Oct 13 @ 12:00pm CT through Oct 23 @ 11:59pm CT for a 48-hour watch window. Available in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin only.


Film Credits

  •   Li Yan, Zhang Min
  •   Li Ruijun
  •   Li Ruijun
  •   Wang Weihua
  •   Wu Renlin, Hai-Qing
  •   Hucheng No.7 Films
  •   https://filmmovement.com/return-to-dust