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.

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What else is on?

Today (Tuesday 18th June)

20:30

The Beast 15
2h 27m | French w/ English subtitles
As a woman (Léa Seydoux) undergoes a procedure to rid her DNA of all feelings, she crosses paths with a man from her past lives. An ambitious dystopian sci-fi from acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello.

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Tomorrow (Wednesday 19th June)

15:30

The Beast 15
2h 27m | French w/ English subtitles
As a woman (Léa Seydoux) undergoes a procedure to rid her DNA of all feelings, she crosses paths with a man from her past lives. An ambitious dystopian sci-fi from acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello.

Book here

18:30

Bye Bye Tiberias Cert-TBC
1h 22m | Arabic w/ English subtitles
Palestinian documentary following actress Hiam Abbass as she returns to her hometown and reconnects with the women in her family. Showing as part of the 2024 SAFAR Film Festival.

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18:00

SAFAR Film Festival Pass

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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!