Magnificent Obsession

Directed by: 
Magnificent Obsession (2018)

It is one of the formulations of the political and social issues of our time: the relationship between the individual and community or society, and how the individual can live in the latter's reality. Zhong Su's artwork, set in contemporary China, portrays this as the tale of an individual's search for knowledge and transcendence by displaying the reality he faces in a kaleidoscope of three synoptic perspectives. It starts as a "landscape" of the present and the technical, social, socialist-capitalist reality as an underwater world. It continues in the "passions", talking of social desires, goals and dogmas, before "history" captures the community through the ages and contexts in further stunning images. Zhong Su closes this interpretation of reality with a fourth chapter entitled "adaptation": based formally on J.L. Borges' "Book of Sand", but also related to the life of the individual as they are explorating, adapting and reworking reality in their quest to transcend it. He finds his obsession not in archaic collections of writings but in the endless preciousness of Holy Writings he encounters. His obsessive search for an experience of himself in a reality transcending the given reality becomes a mystic immersion in which he encounters self-knowledge. And yet it doesn't take him outside of himself: despite his obsessive self-knowledge he cannot escape himself. An epic short film work of art.

(Jury motivation)