The One Who Runs Away Is the Ghost


  • Qinyuan Lei
  • Germany, China
  • 2021
  • 75 min
  • World Premiere
  • International Competition

Haohao and Zhouzhou, two sisters aged five and eight, spend most of their days at an electronics market in Shenzhen. A year earlier, as new immigrants to the city, their parents opened a shop on the market’s ninth floor. The girls’ gaze turns the soulless world of electronics into a universe full of monsters and ghost stories that make life more magical.

In voiceover we hear the thoughts of filmmaker Qinyuan Lei, who also spent her childhood in an electronics store. Shenzhen was her home, but she always wanted to be somewhere else, and leave everything behind.

For Haohao and Zhouzhou, it seems the other way around. They play endlessly with boxes, run through stairwells and hide in empty display cases, and as impersonal as this space is, to the children it feels like home, like a planet they inherit and inhabit without question. Meanwhile, the outside world, with its constant rain and fog, seems hostile and inaccessible.


  • 75 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Chinese
  • Subtitles in: English
Qinyuan Lei
Julian Moser for moserfilm
Qinyuan Lei
Julian Moser
Nani Gutierrez

IDFA history

World Premiere
International Competition

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