Xiao Wu’s existence revolves around school, an empty apartment and the dubious comforts in instant noodles. One day, his routine is subtly transformed by a tenant in the apartment, who is nursing a heartache. Their paths cross only once in a while. Longing for human contact Xiao Wu tries all he can to make a connection through physical and metaphorical walls in that hour between night and day.

A meditation on absence and longing, 4:30 is about a moment, and a boy’s attempt to cling to it, escaping his drab reality. 4:30 traces the relationship between Zhang Xiao Wu and his tenant Jung, a thirty-something Korean man. Told entirely from the perspective of the boy, this story of two very different characters is less about friendship than about a shared experience and appreciation of solitude. 4:30 was conceived while I was filming my first feature 15. I was doing a lot of late night shoots and would normally still be up at 4:30 am. I realised that this is a very lonely time of the day, in fact I think probably the loneliest. It feels too late to go to sleep yet at the same time, too late to be awake. I’ve heard a rumour that the suicide rate at this time is apparently the highest. The premise of 4:30 is built around 2 lonely people who share and probably find a kind of unspoken connection through their loneliness. The reason for using a Korean character was in part, a way of thanking the people at Pusan especially the Pusan International Film Festival for their tremendous support for many of my short films over the last few years. It was also my intention to show that oneliness is universal and cross – cultural hence there is very little dialogue in the film 4:30. Emotions of the characters are told through their body language like their eyes and facial expressions, or subtle cues of their hands. This perhaps also opens more doors to interpretation for the audience as well.

Release Date
29th June 2006