The performances depict death by interment, by drowning and by fire; the final stage is to be death by hypothermia, a project Qi calls “Funeral in Ice.”
Despite the efforts of his girlfriend Shao Yun (Ma Xiaoqing) to dissuade him, Qi proceeds with his plans, alienating himself from Shao and his family as the scheduled day of his funeral draws near. With the aid of a few art student accomplices, he fakes his death and goes into hiding. But his “afterlife” observations provide no relief, underlining the ephemeral nature of artistic achievement and of the commitment of his so-called supporters.
Despite the somewhat rarefied quest of its protagonist, “Frozen” makes the events it portrays surprisingly immediate, posing more questions than it ultimately answers about art, integrity and the conditions that push artists into exile.
Starkly but functionally shot, this intimate production stands to spark interest first and foremost as an uncompromising philosophical and political statement.