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China, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Horizons: New Chinese Cinema)

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.

D/S Jia Zhang-ke WS Celluloid Dreams L Chinese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/ col/2004/133mins Jia Zhang-ke was born in Fenyang, China, in 1970.

See also...


Festival guest Jia Zhang-ke arrived onto the international cinema scene with Pickpocket (1997), influenced most evidently by the work of Robert Bresson. Made well outside the state system, the film ... More »


Platform (MIFF 01) is Jia Zhang-ke's ambitious follow-up to his highly successful debut, Pickpocket. Set over 1979 to 1989, it explores the tensions in expectations and world-views that emerge as ... More »


Jia Zhang-ke's Unknown Pleasures depicts a trough of aimlessness. This third feature by Jia - in Official Competition at Cannes 2002 - again proves his ability to hold a light to China's alienated ... More »


"Mr. Jia is working at the border where fiction and nonfiction meet, which is where this fantastically surreal country itself seems to exist." - New York Times ... For six decades Factory 420 in ... More »


“Clothes, a layer of substance in close contact with our skins, also have memories.” - filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke ... Jia Zhang-ke (Still Life, MIFF 07) picks at the fabric of the textile industry of ... More »


Last year Jia Zhang-Ke captivated MIFF audiences with Platform, a politically charged epic concerning a troupe of young performers in rural Shanxi province. The young Chinese filmmaker's third ... More »

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