Juno Films has acquired worldwide rights to Jordan Schiele’s contemporary China documentary, “The Silk and the Flame.”
The film premiered at Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the festival’s Teddy Award for top documentary. After an international festival campaign, it will have a nationwide theatrical release later in 2018 followed by other select territories.
“The Silk and the Flame” chronicles a man’s journey from Beijing to his familial home in the provinces for the Chinese New Year. Nearing 40 and still single, he returns to visit his deaf-mute mother and invalid father, whose dying wish is to see his son wedded to the right woman and starting a family of his own — although he would prefer to find the right man. Ever the dutiful son, he finds himself sacrificing his own needs in order to fulfill his family’s expectations.
The film is an intimate look into everyday life in China, where the economic boom of the cities stands in stark contrast to the poverty experienced by those living in the countryside. Schiele uses stark black-and-white photography to illustrate how deeply entrenched the Confucian values that shape Chinese society are, the legacy of the social tumult of the 20th century, and the family’s own battle with the simple means of communication that most of us take for granted.
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and founder, and Schiele.
“Yao’s journey home is a quest to gain his ailing father’s love and acceptance and to reconcile with his family,” Sheldon said. “Jordan lyrically captures the conflict between Yao and his family while also capturing the strong bonds that unite them. Jordan’s portrait is aesthetically and emotionally haunting. I believe a diverse audience will be reminded of the power of film to tell compelling stories that neither judge nor proscribe.”