immagine gff 2022




Category: Edition 2022

After an earthquake razed a Chinese city to the ground in 2008, more than six thousand parents were encouraged to replace the children they lost and move on with their lives. AFTER THE RAIN follows two of these families for over a decade. Haunted by fear, resentment, and unspeakable grief, the families find hope beyond intergenerational trauma to build towards an uncertain tomorrow.

Original Title After the rain
Category Official Competition
Section GEx Doc
Tipology Documentary, Feature Film
Duration 104'
Production Year 2021
Nationality China
Directed by Jian Fan
Director of photography Jian Fan, Xue Ming
Editor Isabella Zang, Matthieu Laclau
Sound Danfeng Li
Produced by Richard Liang, S. Leo Chiang
Production Fan Film Studio (China)

Jian FAN 1Jian Fan

Jian Fanis a documentary director who focuses on Chinese social issues through character-driven storytelling. Jian has directed six feature-length documentary films, most recently “Still Tomorrow,” winner of a Special Jury Award at IDFA 2016. His other films include “My Land” (Berlinale 2016; supported by Sundance Documentary Fund) and “The Next Life” (IDFA 2011; Jury Prize at Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival 2011). His work has also screened in competition at Hot Docs, Full Frame, Sheffield, Busan, and dozens of other film festivals around the world. Jian studied at the famed Beijing Film Academy and is now based in Chongqing, China.

Director’s statement

“When a major disaster strikes, the world pays attention during the brief period when the destruction takes place, but few understand the long-term human cost from these disasters. Out of the over 7,500 sets of parents who lost their only children in the Sichuan Earthquake, approximately 3,500 couples went on to have another child. This irreversible shift in their life trajectories not only impacts those who experienced the trauma, but also their children born after the disasters. Our longitudinal, immersive investigation into the lived realities of these families will provide much needed insights into the psychological effects of major disasters.
After The Rain is a quintessential Chinese story, scrutinizing the parent-child relationship, the foundation of Chinese society. And, unlike much of Western literature and thinking, traditional Chinese culture does not celebrate individuality. Many in older generations do not fully comprehend that one person—one child—cannot substitute for another. This puts tremendous pressure on the younger generation, but does not deter them from finding their own identity.
This film leads our audiences through a complex examination in the evolving value of individual life and identity.
When I made The Next Life back in 2011, I spent a year in this community of parents through the darkest time in their lives. Because of this experience, Mei, Sheng, Ying, and Ping now treat me like a member of their families. After the Rain will be the second film in a trilogy on the Sichuan Earthquake. I have built a body of nuanced, character-driven work that examines the intricacy of the human condition around these social issues. Through these films, I hope that both domestic and international audiences are able to think deeply about China, especially the life and fate of its ordinary people, beyond the news headlines.”

Fan Film Studio (China)

International distribution 
Festival contact
Cat &Docs (France)