Skip to main content

POSTMAN

China, 1995 (MIFF 1995)

Director: He Jianjun

Who knows what happens behind closed doors? The postman, if he opens your mail. And this guy doesn't knock twice before meddling in the lives he uncovers. Adultery, prostitution and drugs are just the appetisers in a banquet of temptations laid out before Xiao Dou. A slow-witted young man over-protected by his elder sister, he is unprepared for Beijing's shadow world, and titillation rapidly turns to moral confusion and tragedy.

Chinese authorities maintain everyone is so busy building the country, none of the things shown in The Postman exist. And indeed, so taboo are they that none of the characters dares talks about what they are doing. But the so called Sixth Generation of younger directors have been determined to expose this other side of Beijing, from Wu Wenguang's documentaries about alienated artists to Zhang Yuan's features on rock culture.

He Jianjun's second film is his most satisfying achievement yet. Beautifully shot and under­played by a nonchalant cast, The Postman is cool­ly observed and perfectly paced. High production values are especially remarkable, as he was supposedly banned from filmmaking last year. Somehow he has eluded the authorities, but it is unlikely The Postman will redeem him in their eyes

See also...

GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN

Based on a real-life love tragedy, Good Men, Good Women continues Hou's exploration of history from the ordinary citizen's point-of-view. To this he adds his new interest, pioneered in The ... More »

IN EXPECTATION (RAINCLOUDS OVER WUSHAN)

... ... At last, a Chinese feature that gets to grips with everyday contemporary life. Gone is the stylised historical drama of older directors like Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. Like Sons (also ... More »

Underground Palace

The Emperors of the Ming Dynasty concealed treasures under each of their tombs, so effectively hidden, that only in 1958 was the first of these - that of the Emperor Wan-li - discovered. ... More »

UNIFORM

Uniform (Zhifu) ChinaNominated for a Tiger award at Rotterdam this year, and the winner of the coveted Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Uniform is ... More »

WEEKEND PLOT

Mistrust, a missing person and a floating dressmaker's dummy dominate the weekend of five Beijing friends who spend a summer weekend on the banks of the Yangzhe. Yudong, away from his wife's gaze, is ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director