Four Springs is a documentary film that presents a family’s daily life in the remote town in southern Guizhou. From a subjective angle, the camera introduces the flow of life out of the screen: the quotidian toils, singing, excursions in nature, visits among friends and extended families, funerals, reunions, and separation. It presents the state of being of the two main characters, the director’s own parents, and their attitude when facing irretrievable loss in life.
Made on a tiny budget, the debut feature-length film from director Lu Qingyi, who had no prior training film before he bought a camera and tripod back in 2013 and started shooting his own family during visits back home for Chinese New Year as part of a diary. The film attracted major attention in China and support from celebrities such as Zhao Wei, Zhou Dongyu and Huang Bo, and was a rare case of an independent documentary being released in mainstream Chinese cinemas, where it became a surprise box office hit.