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Gu Xiaogang Dwelling By West Lake

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #44. Gu Xiaogang’s Dwelling By West Lake

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #44. Gu Xiaogang’s Dwelling By West Lake

Dwelling By West Lake

After a pair of features, it was his third film in 2019’s Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (which landed a spot in the Critics’ Week section in Cannes) that put the filmmaker on the map. Gu Xiaogang moved into the second part of a proposed trilogy with Dwelling By West Lake back in September of last year.

Gist: The film is a re-imagining of the widely known Chinese Buddhist folk story about a boy named Mulian rescuing his mother from hell, considered to be a parable about the virtues of filial piety. When Mulian’s mother is sent to hell because of misdeeds during her lifetime, Mulian breaks into the underworld to save her, ultimately succeeding after several lifetimes worth of efforts.

Release Date/Prediction: We think this will be headed to Venice, unless Locarno offers it a Golden Leopard comp spot.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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