Elusive filmmaker opens up
Forced to smile for a photo before our interview, filmmaker Zhang Lu reluctantly obliged, joking that his appearance clashed with the beautiful, sunny day.
“I’m being punished now for putting my actors through grueling film shoots,” he laughed, as he continued to pose awkwardly for his picture.
Zhang’s dry wit echoed the tone of his latest feature film, “Dooman River,” a coming-of-age film about the ill-fated friendship between two boys – one is a North Korean defector while the other is an ethnic Korean boy who was born in China.
The film is set in a Chinese village near the Tumen River, the border dividing North Korea and China. The physical boundary that separates the two boys also creates a spiritual divide between them.