风平浪静(Fēnɡ Pínɡ Lànɡ Jìnɡ), literally "breeze is still, waves are quiet", with an English name "Back to the Wharf", is a new Chinese movie released on Nov 06, 2020. As a thriller movie, the story is like this:
Song Hao was an excellent high school student who will start his new life in Peking University. But everything was changed in a dead calm afternoon just before a typhoon night. He accidentally killed a guy and then wandered far from home with the help of his father, and altered his life trajectory.
15 years later, he hurried back for a funeral, and everything seemed to be calm. But, as the film's name implied - beneath the "calm" surface lies the billows, he discovered the truth and lies...
After meeting an old classmate Pan Xiao Shuang, he decided to face the wounds of the past and take back control of his life. Click here to watch the part they met (a very good listening comprehension exercise for intermediate level students ^-^).
Back to the Wharf challenges a time span of more than ten years, mixes the crime, suspense and other genre elements together, and explores the dilemma between individual interests and conscience under the tide of the times; the plot is far from the "placid" surface, director Li mentioned the reason for such a seemingly "deceptive" name was that the movie story itself had a strong power and was turbulent, "Such a name may form a tension with the plot".
The background of the story is set in 1990s, a decade of transformation in China. The 1990s saw healthy economic development, but the closing of state-owned enterprises and increasing levels of corruption and unemployment, along with environmental challenges plagued China. In those days, people saw the rise to materialism and crime.
The place of the story is set in Fujian(福建Fú Jiàn), a province in the south-east of China. As a coastal province, Fujian is much involved with the sea. Historically, Fujian has been one of the more prosperous and outward-looking provinces of China, an area of traders and seafarers from the world.
Fujian is also a province connected to Singapore closely. In the history, Singapore was a choice for Fujian people to make living out of China. These people are called Hokkiens. Nowadays, Hokkiens form about 40 percent of the Chinese resident population, making them the largest Chinese dialect group in Singapore.
click the picture to watch the movie trailer