Are People Worth Waiting For?
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Are People Worth Waiting For?

Article by Ryan Golangco
Edited by Regiena Siy

Jia Zhangke’s movie is a fresh take on the romance genre. Whenever we watch romantic movies, we’ve grown accustomed to cliché plots with a fairytale turn of events, but the story of Qiao and Bin is far from the dreamy love affair we fantasize about. It defines a real love, defining what it means to truly love someone and the vulnerabilities of entering a relationship. Ash is Purest White revolves around the lives of Qiao, a young woman, and Bin, an underworld boss in the industrial city of Datong, China. Qiao is portrayed as a very passionate woman, shown by her weakness for her father and her desire to run away from the underworld, as long as she was with Bin. When there was a sudden ambush against Bin, Qiao did not hesitate to save his life even at the expense of herself,  showing how her love for him was beyond the love she had for herself.

This film perfectly portrays the reality of loving someone and sacrificing ourselves for the ones we love without hesitation. The setting further enhances the realistic tone Jia Zhangke is trying to portray. Set in an underdeveloped city of Datong, China, we see the everyday struggles of the Chinese, which is far from the conventional China setting of giant skyscrapers and the glitz and glamour. The plot and unexpected twist of events beautifully depicted the realities of love. After all the hardship Qiao endured for Bin, he painfully left Qiao, stating she had no more place in his heart. Despite all of this, after years of separation, the love of Qiao is again put to the test when Bin falls ill. 

The film ends at a note, which one could have never anticipated—making me feel both frustrated and at peace. This movie depicts what life is, an unpredictable turn of events with no guarantees. It’s a wildly poetic and a perfect visual representation of life, with beautiful cinematography and acting. It’s a strikingly exquisite masterpiece, and it’s too beautiful to miss. 

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