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'Paradise Program' takes unorthodox view at life and death | Updated: 2020-08-10 13:33
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A still from Paradise Program.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Death and separation, the connection among people has always been the theme of Zhang's work, but Paradise Program is a new attempt for her as she puts forward another view of life and death and a novel way to deal with separation. Studying and living in different cultures led Zhang to explore the cross-cultural attitudes toward death. The concept of life and death in Paradise Program are constructed based on ideas raised by psychologist Sigmund Freud and philosopher Friedrich Engels, a world where human memory can be fully recorded and developed electronically and the program can "think" like a living individual, which in turn give rise to eternal mental existence. Scientific advancement and the acceptable scope of our society and ethics and the subsequent change in relationships between people are also touched.

A still from Paradise Program. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Combined with non-linear editing and exquisite story line, Zhang makes the story unfold in a triple space: a cold-tone minimalist hospital in the near future; Perfect surreal program space with dream-like saturated color; And a pure black-and-white gap space. With a short film's duration, it carries the volume and concept of the feature film, also moderate foreshadowing shows the potential of this film.

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