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Brief History of a Family

Brief History of a Family

Brief History of a Family

Dir. Lin Jianjie
99 min

When popular and wealthy student Wei accidentally hits Shuo, his introverted classmate, with a ball, they strike up an unlikely friendship. As Shou spends more time at Wei’s house, Shou slowly transforms from an awkward guest to a comfortable surrogate member of Wei’s family. But are his intentions as innocent as they seem?

Wei is initially happy to deflect his parent’s attention to Shou, but as Shou somewhat methodically becomes the studious son they wish Wei was, emotions and suspicions escalate. Director Janjie Lin’s debut feature is a slow-burn socio-economic thriller reminiscent of Parasite, but also a patient examination of family dynamics and a forceful critique of China’s “one child” policy.

“An outstanding modern thriller, and the simplicity of its production ironically elevates the complexity of the narrative. The end result will leave audiences guessing and with no fingernails.” –Katie Smith-Wong, Flick Feast

Content advisory: themes of abuse

Film Details

Release Year: 2024
Runtime: 99 min
Country/Region: China, France, Denmark, Qatar
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Print Source: Films Boutique
Tags: Asian Frontiers, Coming-of-Age, Drama, Family, Thriller


Director: Lin Jianjie
Producer: Lou Ying, Zheng Yue, Wang Yiwen
Cinematographer: Zhang Jiahao
Screenwriter: Lin Jianjie
Editor: Per K. Kirkegaard
Composer: Toke Brorson Odin
Principal Cast: Zu Feng, Guo Keyu, Sun Xilun, Lin Muran


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