Black Coal, Thin Ice
Black Coal, Thin Ice

Black Coal, Thin Ice

Director Diao Yinan

Production year 2014

Length 106min.

Country China


Northern China, 1999. The grisly discovery of several corpses is made in a small town. A bloody incident during the attempt to capture the alleged murderer leaves two police officers dead and another badly injured. The surviving officer Zhang Zili is suspended from duty; he takes a job as a security guard at a factory. Five years later, another series of mysterious murders occurs. Aided by a former colleague, Zhang decides to investigate under his own initiative. He discovers that all the victims were connected to Wu Zhizhen, a young woman who works at a dry cleaners. Pretending to be a customer, Zhang begins to observe her and finds himself falling in love with the reticent Wu Zhizhen. One cold winter’s day he makes a horrific discovery. His life now in danger, he realises it is not always possible to separate guilt from innocence.


Golden Berlin Bear, Silver Berlin Bear – Best Actor | Berlinale, Germany, 2014


Diao Yinan
Diao Yinan



Qu Vivian, Wan Juan


Yang Hongyu

Director of Photography

Dong Jingsong

Production designer

Liu Qiang

Music by

Wen zi


Zhang Yang


Liao Fan, Gwei Lun Mei, Wang Xuebing, Wang Jingchun, Yu Ailei, Ni Jingyang

Production company(ies)

company(-ies) Omnijoi Media Corporation Boneyard Entertainment China (BEC) Hongkong, China

Diao Yinan

He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. As a playwright and director, he is a leading figure in China’s avant-garde theatre. He started his career in film as an actor in Yu Likwai’s independent feature All Tomorrow’s Parties, which premiered at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section, in 2003. He was both writer and director of his feature film Uniform. In 2007, Night Train premiered at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section and went on to be screened to acclaim at numerous festivals.


Uniform (2003), The Night Train (2007), Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014).

FILMS 2014