Skip to main content


China, 2001 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Zhang Yang

Jia Hong Sheng was an emerging film star in the early 90s, nicknamed 'the thug idol' for playing gangsters and heroes in 'B' movies, when he branched out and starred in a stage version of Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1992. However, things soon changed, as his fragile psychological state, combined with a heroin addiction, led to his withdrawal from the outside world. He quit acting, cut himself off from his family and friends and locked himself in his apartment. His parents, concerned for their son's well-being, packed up their belongings and journeyed to Beijing to rescue Jia from his private hell.

One of the many remarkable aspects of this film, from the director of Shower (MIFF 2000), is that Jia Hong Sheng plays himself as the tormented actor. Bringing a level of realism to this docu-drama, Zhang Yang, who was the director of the ill-fated 1992 stage production of Kiss of the Spider Woman, has crafted an astonishing film.

See also...


Opening with a wondrous fantasy concerning a high-tech automated shower modelled after a modern car-wash, Shower slams into a vision of a traditional Beijing bathhouse. A custom thousands of years ... More »


Leading Chinese director Zhang Yang turns his perceptive eye to the inner dynamics of one post-Cultural Revolution family in Beijing and produces an emotionally affecting drama that illuminates three ... More »


Set in small-town China, an unemployed factory worker agrees to care for a prostitute's baby for a meager stipend. Slowly, something of a family emerges, but their shared path veers when the womans ... More »


A modern-day taxi driver leads a second life as a would be Casanova. From the opening scene, where he poses for wedding photos with his bride to be, we watch through flashbacks as events unfold. The ... 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 »


Cala is a scruffy little dog who means the world to Lao, a blue-collar worker who lives in Beijing with his wife and son. When the pooch is nabbed by the authorities for being out on the streets ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director