• Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue

Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue

a film by Jia Zhang-Ke
2020, 112 minutes



From master director Jia Zhang-Ke (Ash Is Purest White, A Touch of Sin) comes a vital document of Chinese society since 1949. Jia interviews three prominent authors—Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua, and Liang Hong—born in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, respectively. In their stories, we hear of the dire circumstances they faced in their rural villages and small towns, and the substantial political effort undertaken to address it, from the social revolution of the 1950s through the unrest of the late 1980s. In their faces, we see full volumes left unsaid. Jia weaves it all together with his usual brilliance. SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE is an indispensable account of a changing China from one of the countrys foremost cinematic storytellers.


"An ode to the importance of art that is a work of art itself, Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue is yet another fascinating look at contemporary China courtesy of Jia Zhang-Ke."
- Film Inquiry

"In this leisurely paced, quietly moving film, Jia pays tribute to writers who connect modern urban culture to its provincial roots, and the current era to one that’s quickly being lost to living memory."
- Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com

"Examines the evolution of a village in the northern province of Shanxi…How did it change? The answer is found in a complicated weave of progress and loss, in changes etched in the faces of people given the time and attention to explain what they have seen."
- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Moving and fascinating... the richly detailed stories of writers' lives peer deep into family troubles and personal struggles and link them to the grand forces of history."
- Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Press Materials

Press Kit and Stills
Press Release

Where to watch

Buy at CG store

Buy at CG store


May 28: Film at Lincoln Center - New York, NY
May 28: Laemmle Royal - Los Angeles, CA
May 28: Harkins Shea 14 - Phoenix, AZ
May 29: Oklahoma City Museum of Art - Oklahoma City, OK

June 5 & 18: George Eastman Museum - Rochester, NY
June 4-13: Time & Space Ltd. - Hudson, NY
June 11: Belcourt Theatre - Nashville, TN

Live Q&A

Join us June 2 at 8 pm EST for an exclusive Q&A with Jia Zhang-Ke presented by Asia Society and moderated by Michael Berry, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. Click here to register.

Festivals & Awards

Official Selection - Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection - The New York Film Festival
Official Selection - Busan International Film Festival
Official Selection - Sheffield International Documentary Festival


Related Films

24 City

24 City

Jia Zhang-Ke









© 2020 Cinema Guild
2803 Ocean Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11229 | (800) 723-5522 | (212) 685-6242 | info@cinemaguild.com