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Pickpocket Unclassified 18+
Xiao Wu

Director: Jia Zhang-ke
Origin: China (1998/2020)
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles

Capturing the malaise of Chinese society at the tail end of the 20th century, Jia Zhang-ke’s restored feature debut is ripe for re-examination.

Aimless young man Xiao Wu is a petty thief, haunting the public spaces of the far-flung town of Fenyang to procure strangers’ wallets – a livelihood that mirrors the systemic corruption of the society around him on a micro scale. A path to a different life offers itself first through a love affair with a callgirl, then through a visit home to his socially respectable family. But he will quickly discover just how much room this milieu has for fringe dwellers like him.

Recently restored in 4K and screened at the 2020 Berlinale, the first full-length feature film by Jia Zhang-ke (Ash Is Purest White, MIFF 2018; A Touch of Sin, MIFF 2013) is an acidic portrait of rural China in the late 1990s. Planting the seeds for the director’s critically acclaimed subsequent visions of cultural alienation, Pickpocket also nods to those left behind by economic development, both then and over the course of the two decades since.

“Jia’s restrained yet fierce X-ray of the ills of modern China also evokes a calm, intimate compassion for its struggling survivors.” – The New Yorker


———
Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with MK2 and in collaboration with Jia Zhang-ke. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. 

In Cinema

Wed 18 Aug 9:00 pm [14321]
Pickpocket (112 mins)
ACMI 1
Assisted ListeningWheelchair Access
Past event

For more venue information and for information about accessible services provided at MIFF this year, please go to miff.com.au/access.

To ensure that MIFF can provide you with the best customer service, if you require any accessibility services that MIFF offers at any MIFF venues, please book your ticket by emailing boxoffice@miff.com.au or by phone on 03 9087 3395.

Online

40424
Fri 06 Aug 9:00 am [40424]
Pickpocket (112 mins)
Online 100% Subtitles Subtitles
Past event
Key Cast
Hao Hongjian, Jiang Dongdong, Jinrei Ma, Junying Liu, Liang Yonghao, Qunyan An, Wang Hongwei, Zuo Baitao
Director
Jia Zhang-ke
Producers
Jia Zhang-ke, Li Kit Ming
Screenwriter
Jia Zhang-ke
Cinematographer
Nelson Yu Lik-wai
Editor
Yu Xiao Ling
Premiere Status
Australian Premiere
Format
Digital
Company Credit
World Sales: Cineteca di Bologna

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