Ash Is Purest White

Past Event24 Jul

Ash Is Purest White

No longer available

The Civic


The transfixing Zhao Tao plays a tough, resilient woman in love with a small-time hoodlum in Jia Zhang-ke’s epic gangland romance, set against China’s relentless modernisation in the 21st century.

Jia Zhang-ke, China’s pre-eminent contemporary filmmaker, continues his blessed run with this blazing jianghu drama starring his faithful partner Zhao Tao, a force to be reckoned with.

Ash Is Purest White subtly distills nearly two decades of gradual social change into the story of a small-town gangster and his moll. Guo Bin (Liao Fan), a member of the jianghu underworld, runs a mahjong parlor… Bin’s girlfriend, Qiao (Zhao Tao)… more than holds her own in this masculine enclave, and her own belief in the brotherly codes of the jianghu… runs startlingly deep. 

When Bin is attacked by local thugs, it is Qiao who fatefully intervenes and pays the steepest price. From there, the film undergoes a series of thrilling narrative reversals… grounding its portrait of long-term social and technological flux with the kind of gutsy, lovelorn heroine who would be right at home in a 1940s Hollywood melodrama…

[Jia’s film] is fierce, gripping, emotionally generous and surprisingly funny... Meanwhile, even those accustomed to seeing Zhao… might be taken aback by the depths of her acting here… with the richest, most subtly complex performance she’s given to date.” — Justin Chang, LA Times

“Clever, subversive, and hugely ambitious… A quixotic and profound statement on… life in 21st-century China.” — Sam C. Mac, Slant

Ticket Pricing

Tue 24 Jul, 8.45pm

Ticketmaster is the official ticketing agent for all ticketed events at Auckland Live.

Early Bird Full (purchased before 19 July)
Full (purchased from 19 July)
Film Society/Film Industry Guilds/Nurses*
Community Services Card*
Students *
Senior (60+)
Children (15 and under)

Ten-Trip Pass

The Ten-Trip Pass consists of a unique barcode that can be used to purchase tickets to any screening, subject to seat availability (passes are not tickets and do not guarantee admission), and excluding 3D films, Special Events and Live Cinema performances.  Passes can be purchased and redeemed for tickets in advance online, via the phone or the Aotea or Civic Box Offices.  Passes can also be redeemed on the day at all venues, subject to seat availability.

After purchasing your pass online, you will need to download your Print-at-Home ticket and use the unique barcode number to redeem your pass for tickets to individual sessions.  (The barcode is issued immediately when purchased at the Box Office or via phone).  Once all ten tickets have been redeemed, the barcode will expire.


Get Ten-Trip Pass

Concession Discounts

Students, Film Society members, Industry Guild members and Community Service Card holders are entitled to purchase one ticket per session at the discount rate. Student/Membership /CSC ID is required – please ensure you bring it with you to the venue to present to staff on request; failure to do so will result in the full price being charged for attendance. Film Society “Three Film Sampler” holders are not entitled to the concession discount.

Please note: We are unable to accept any vouchers unless marked NZIFF 2017.