Director: Zhang Ke Jia
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 feature - in Official Competition at Cannes this year, where it was nominated for the Palme D'Or - again proves his ability to hold a light to China's alienated rural youth.
Set in Datong, closer to Mongolia than Beijing, jobless and aimless Xiao Ji and Bin Bin have plenty of time to wander town on motorbikes and hang out at the recreational centre. Xiao Ji puts the move on Qiao Qiao, a dancer-model who's landed a gig promoting Mongolian King Liquor. That Qiao Qiao has a thug boyfriend doesn't seem to bother Xiao Ji. Meanwhile, Bin Bin's mother thinks a life in the army is what her son most needs. But Bin Bin doesn't believe in the future, and Xiao Ji doesn't see the point living past 30.
"The English title of my film is the result of an observation I made about contemporary China. To avoid falling into hopelessness, people throw themselves into the frenzied search for pleasure. And luckily, they have time to waste their money!" - Jia Zhang-Ke
Paul Yi (executive producer) is a guest of the Festival
Jia Zhang-ke (born in Fenyang, China, 1970) received international attention with Pickpocket (1997) and Platform (MIFF 2000). Unknown Pleasures is his third film.