A gritty contemporary indie in which a stubbornly independent septuagenarian (a defiant performance from vet Lu Zhong) navigates life in a decidedly untraditional Beijing, while she is haunted by stalkerish hints of payback for her family's actions during the Cultural Revolution. The textures are right (although Wang could be given a tripod next birthday), but the Caché-like backstory feels beside the modern-generational point.
It might be that the discouraging average of the films watched in Venice made this film seem better than it actually is, but Red Amnesia did feel like a reasonably good movie. The acting is solid, the story well-paced and the characters are people you actually don’t mind listening to and looking at rather than feeling like punching them. Perhaps slightly axiomatic as far as its story is concerned, Wang Xiaoshuai’s film is anything but obvious when it comes to its conclusions.
...These elements are handled deftly to stimulate genuine suspense and intellectual curiosity as the hidden historical nature of the threat to her comes slowly to the surface. The only aspect that mars this well-constructed and expertly acted film is the very ordinary digital cinematography.