Return to DustPG

Directed by Li Ruijun | China | 2022 | 2h 14m | Mandarin Chinese w/ English subtitles | Starring Renlin Wu, Hai-Qing, Guangrui Yang, Dengping Zhao

In rural China, two middle-aged singletons are cast off by their families and forced into an arranged marriage. What seems at first like an odd and doomed relationship gradually blossoms into a tender companionship as they both build a home together. While navigating topics such as the exploitation of farm workers and forced urbanisation, Li Ruijun’s hypnotic drama is also a poetic and humane portrait of unlikely love.

Reviews

‘It’s a gorgeous, quietly affecting film that finds an unassuming beauty in this simple life in rural China, but which doesn’t shy away from the extreme hardships faced by the very poorest.’ 
★★★★
Wendy Ide, The Observer

‘Return to Dust is many things — a vivid portrait of China’s hardscrabble rural north-west, an unexpected victim of state censorship — but it is first and last a love story.’
★★★★
Danny Leigh, The FT

Sorry - you missed it!

We showed Return to Dust between November 25, 2022 and December 1, 2022.

Join our mailing list and we'll make sure you always know what's on and when.

What else is on?

Today (Wednesday 8th February)

15:15

TÁR 15
2h 38m
Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett delivers an electrifying performance as a classical music conductor whose life begins to unravel in Todd Field's searing examination of power, fame, and ego.

Book here

18:30

Pariah 15
1h 26m
Part of LGBTQ History Month, Oxford Pride presents a one-off screening of Dee Rees' trailblazing coming-of-age drama about a Brooklyn teenager juggling conflicting identities in a search for sexual expression.

Book here

20:30

Empire of Light 15
1h 55m
Olivia Colman and Colin Firth star in this stirring ode to cinema set in 1980s Britain, written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes (American Beauty, 1917).

Book here


Tomorrow (Thursday 9th February)

12:30

Empire of Light 15
Parent + Baby Screening
1h 55m
Olivia Colman and Colin Firth star in this stirring ode to cinema set in 1980s Britain, written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes (American Beauty, 1917).

Book here

15:00

Empire of Light 15
1h 55m
Olivia Colman and Colin Firth star in this stirring ode to cinema set in 1980s Britain, written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes (American Beauty, 1917).

Book here

17:30

TÁR 15
2h 38m
Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett delivers an electrifying performance as a classical music conductor whose life begins to unravel in Todd Field's searing examination of power, fame, and ego.

Book here

20:45

More Than Ever 15
2h 3m | French & Norwegian w/ English subtitles
Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Corsage) and the late Gaspard Ulliel star in this moving story of a couple whose deep bond is put to the test after an unexpected life-changing diagnosis.

Book here


Plan your visit

Our beautiful art deco inspired auditorium can be found just off East Oxford's Cowley Road. We are open 7 days a week. We open the cinema and box office 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of each film, and the Box Office then closes 10 minutes after the film starts. We don’t show adverts, just a couple of trailers, so don't be late as the film itself starts very close to the advertised time!