The opening film at the International Film Festival always plays a special role. This time it is about human encounters between two very different cultures: China meets Finland in “Master Cheng” by Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki.
What is it about? After the death of his wife, the cook Cheng travels to Finland to visit a Finnish man he met in Shanghai years ago. He ends up in a segregated village in Lapland. However no one there knows the friend he is looking for. But a café owner offers the guest from Asia at least an accommodation. For this Cheng helps in the kitchen and soon the locals enjoy Chinese food. Cheng finds Finnish friends. When his tourist visa expires, the villagers want him to stay. Therefore they hatch a plan.
What does the director want with the film? “I’m trying to show that we should all learn to live together,” says Mika Kaurismäki (64), the older brother of prominent filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. Despite different cultures, a mutual understanding between the actors quickly developed during the shooting in Lapland. “Just like in the film.”
Why “Master Cheng” at the opening? The main characters are lovable, the mood is positive, the events are characterized by warmth of heart. This also pleased the visitors of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck. There “Master Cheng” won the audience award last year. “You leave the cinema with a good feeling afterwards”, promises Thomas Schulz from the festival management team.
“Master Cheng” will be shown in the original version with German subtitles. The 114-minute film starts on Wednesday, 29th of January at 07:30pm – after a champagne reception, which starts at 06:30pm. Tickets at € 7.50 are available from Monday, 27th of January, at the Central cinema in the Bürgerbräu.