Director: Zhang Ke Jia
The World is the first film of Jia Zhang-ke - MIFF filmmaker in focus - made with the tacit approval of the authorities. It is also his first film to be released in China. The World is set in World Park, a Beijing simulacra of must-see sights, where one can do a whistle-stop tour of the globe. Here the young dancer Tao lives out her dreams, performing daily with her friends for the pleasure of the leisure seekers. Their everyday lives are a finely tuned choreography of changing personal relationships, where love is won, questioned and lost, and romance is used as a tool for realising personal ambitions. These very real personal dramas are set against the surreal world of the theme park, something of a metaphor for globalisation and the troubling aspects of a speedily changing world. Amid the opportunities and dreams of the rapidly urbanising 'new China', communication crumbles, isolation flourishes, dreams are dashed and a character such as migrant labourer Erxiao is only ever a casualty of this changing social world.