34 user 130 critic

Ash Is Purest White (2018)

Jiang hu er nü (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 21 September 2018 (China)
1:54 | Trailer
A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.


Zhangke Jia


Zhangke Jia
24 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Tao Zhao ... Qiao
Fan Liao ... Bin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yi'nan Diao ... Lin Jiadong
Jiali Ding ... Woman on boat
Zijian Dong ... Policeman in Fengjie
Jiamei Feng Jiamei Feng
Xiaogang Feng
Kang Kang Kang Kang
Xuan Li Xuan Li ... Li Xuan
Casper Liang Casper Liang ... Lin Jiayan
Min Liu Min Liu ... Er Yong
Yuan Wenqian Yuan Wenqian
Zheng Xu ... Man from Karamay (man on train)
Yi Zhang ... Second man in Fengjie restaurant
Yibai Zhang Yibai Zhang ... First man in Fengjie restaurant


A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film premiered at the Festival de Cannes in May 2018. See more »


When Bin arrives at the "Datong station," the Chinese characters read "Middle Cloud" as opposed to "Datong." See more »


Bin: I've left.
See more »


References Tragic Hero (1987) See more »


A Man Should Better Himself
from "Once upon a time in China"
Adapted by Romeo Díaz and James Wong
See more »

User Reviews

A sprawling crime drama with strong performances and visuals
25 March 2019 | by gortxSee all my reviews

ASH IS PUREST WHITE - Chinese Director Zhangke Jia's (A TOUCH OF ZEN) latest is a sprawling drama about a two-bit local hood Bin (Fan Liao) and his moll Qiao (Tao Zhao; the Director's wife & muse). The first part of the story about their rise and fall takes place in the early 2000s and is the most purely entertaining with verve and visual impact, even if it covers a mostly familiar trajectory. We pick up the story several years later and the couple is estranged. Clearly the years (and a forced separation) has changed the individuals (especially Bin). The final section takes place in the present (more or less). ASH is a longish movie (136 minutes), not just in terms of time, but, also how the screenplay unfolds over the 17 year period. The acting and details are spot on (Zhao is particularly exceptional), but, the story drags after the sparkling opening section. Part of this is by design, without question, however, ASH is an example of a movie with so many apparent endings that one loses interest, rather than gains it. And, when we come to the conclusion, it is neither fully satisfying, nor, more importantly, seems worthy of the additional time spent to arrive at it. Still, ASH is a decent drama with some considerable merits (a long hotel sequence is deeply moving). The performances, Jia's direction and Eric Gautier's (MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) cinematography (combining 35mm with digital) are its strongest suits.

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China | France | Japan


Chinese | Mandarin

Release Date:

21 September 2018 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Ash Is Purest White See more »

Filming Locations:

Datong, Shanxi, China See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,150, 17 March 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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