Jia Zhangke, the producer of this film, holds a distinct style. He has made sure to present the film in a purely chronological order, and illustrates the life of each character in a way that is only impressive in its reality. Zhangke assures a strict hold on his aspect of Chinese culture through film for the viewer with constant pans of countryside and a journey that is never narrated, and continually authentic in its presentation. Wherever the film takes you, it feels as if you have a view of the adventure first-hand; you are sitting on a boat with villagers and witnessing them laugh with children, you can smell the aroma of noodles cooking on the stove.
This film proves to be a masterpiece not for its edgy technologic features or heart thumping adventure, but for its true symbiosis with life as we know it. It purveys a deeper meaning than a simple for search for kin, but rather the meaning of hope and desire to do so. The true love that binds people together, no matter the circumstance, become apparent in this feature and is proven with the characters’ persistence in pursuing this instinctual need.