Chen Jianbin recently made his directorial debut in A Fool, which arrived in Chinese theaters on November 20.
The Chinese name of the film is Yige Shaozi. Shaozi in the northwestern dialect is Shazi, which means a fool. The story is based on Chinese writer Hu Xuewen’s novel Running Moonlight.
The farmer Latiaozi meets a foolish beggar who follows him home. Laotiaozi decides to post a notice to help the fool find his family. Soon someone spots the message and comes to Latiaozi. After the man takes the fool away, more people show up and claim to be the fool’s family. In the end, Laotiaozi ends up another fool while trying to track down the fool to prove he didn’t lie.
Chen said he discovered the original story on Renmin Wenxue. He read it twice and was touched by the realism in the story and how it described a situation that anyone could encounter.
Hu Xuewen was the winner of the sixth Luxun Literary Awards. He published a collection this year that includes six of his novels that have been made into films, including Jidi Caihong, Flying Woman, Eat Hot Tofu Slowly, Tracking Kong Lingxue, Xiangyangpo and this year’s A Fool.
Hu Xuewen’s writing focuses on ordinary life and common struggles.
Most of his stories are based on life experiences on the grasslands and a small village of kind and simple people. He seldom read books when he was young, but later he went out to study and found his love for writing.
Hu’s stories feature the lives of villagers in modern times. The battle that ordinary people wage with their destiny is an ongoing theme in his work.