Gaey Wa’r as seen by NA Jiazuo

Picture of the movie Gaey Wa'r (Steetwise) © The Seventh Art Pictures


In Gaey Wa’r (Streetwise), NA Jiazuo trains his camera on a small Chinese town, and offers a thriller-like plot full of henchmen, debt collectors, and strange parent-child relationships. A first feature film presented at the Certain Regard for the Chinese director who is in the running for the Camera d'Or.

What inspired you to begin work on this film? 

Life and destiny. 

Please describe your working method and the atmosphere on set.  Anecdotes welcome. 

I remember everyone worked really hard, but we are all quite stressed. One interesting thing that happened was while eating a bowl of noodles one morning, I noticed a stray dog watching me eat. So I gave him some of my noodles. After this encounter, I took quite a few shots of the dog and the film crew ended up looking after him during shooting. I called him “Noodles”. Noodles is now in Chongqing and he seems to be doing just fine. 

Please share a few words about your actors. 

They were honest, enthusiastic and gave it their all. 

What did you learn during the course of making this film? 

The whole process was like a mirror forcing me to face myself on a more profound level. The things I hadn’t yet discovered about myself gradually became clearer to me during that process. I got to see myself in a whole new light. 

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?  What were the sources of your inspiration? 

Destiny. I don’t believe in inspiration. Perhaps instinct would be a better word than inspiration. Everyone has instinct. So it’s nothing out of this world. My modus operandi is to make progress in an intense atmosphere of constantly checking and reflecting upon myself.   

What are your views on the state of the film industry in your country? 

Chinese film is making progress. Those who make films in China are also making progress. Everyone is trying hard to be a better version of themselves.