Back to the Wharf

Shelf Pick: Chinese Noir BACK TO THE WHARF

Although they don’t make film noir movies with the frequency they once did in Hollywood, the modern noir genre is alive and well in mainland China. If you’re craving a good crime story in your life and wanted an excuse to check out more modern Chinese cinema, Back to the Wharf is a great reason to dive in.

The third feature from writer-director Li Xiaofeng (Ash, Nezha), Back to the Wharf follows Song Hao, a man who returns to his hometown after serving 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. His long-awaited homecoming soon reveals the truth about a past he’d rather leave behind.

Back to the Wharf is a slow-burn drama meets crime story riffing on a familiar formula, featuring a distinct spin on family life, government, and corruption that could only be made in China. Starring Zhang Yu, Song Jia, Wang Yanhui, and Lee Hong-Chi, Back to the Wharf screened at such fests as the Fantasia International Film Festival and the Glasgow Film Festival. The film debuts on North American VOD on January 17th courtesy of Red Water Entertainment.

Back to the Wharf trailer:


Back to the Wharf synopsis:

Fifteen years ago, Song Hao, a top student in high school, went into hiding after being falsely ID’d for a murder he didn’t commit. As he returns to his hometown as a grown man, it seems that everything has gone back to normal. His reunion with his old classmate Pan Xiaoshuang casts a bright light on his gloomy life. She provides him with warmth that gradually tames the crashing waters beneath the surface. He decides to start his life anew and reconcile with his father, in order to find the truth about the unspeakable past that he ran away from.

Back to the Wharf Poster

Back to the Wharf (Feng ping lang jing) is available on digital and cable platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, iNDemand and DISH, starting January 17th, 2023.