Gang de qin

Zhang Meng / USA / 2010 / 119 min / Mandarin with English subtitles / color / digital


Grand Jury Prize, World Competition, 2011 Miami Film Festival

The second feature from emerging writer-director Zhang Meng (Lucky Dog), THE PIANO IN A FACTORY is a unique amalgam of black humor, post-industrial landscapes, and Sino-Soviet musicality wrapped in an absurdly endearing story of one man’s mission to build a piano for his daughter.

Chen, an unemployed single father and leader of a local band of rag-tag musicians, has a passion for music and wants to share that gift with his daughter. Given his money troubles, Chen finds creative ways to give her piano lessons, building a wooden keyboard into their bookshelf and breaking into the local women’s school so she can practice. But things become complicated when his ex-wife returns, locking him into a custody battle that hinges on which parent can provide a real piano for their daughter. After exhausting all other options, including failed attempts to borrow money and steal a piano, Chen is left with only one logical choice: to build a piano from the scrap metal in the abandoned steel factory!

With Chaplin-esque sensitivity, Zhang moves between the tragic and the comic with beautifully visual punctuations. Between the surreal musical outbursts and the physical humor there is a deep and sincere pathos, and by the end, the satisfaction of having seen something one won’t quickly forget. –Jason Low

Co-presented by: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, EPOCH TIMES, House of China, San Diego Arthouse Movies


  • Director: Zhang Meng
  • Cast: Wang Qian-yuan, Qin Hai-lu, Jang Shin-yeong, Liu Qian


October 26, 2011 7:45 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas