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From The KimStim Collection
An Elephant Sitting Still

A film by Hu Bo

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Under the gloomy sky of a small town in northern China, different protagonists’ lives are intertwined in this furious tale of nihilistic rage. While protecting his friend from a dangerous school bully, 16-year-old WEI Bu pushes the tormentor down a staircase. WEI escapes the scene and later learns that the bully is hospitalized and gravely injured. WEI’s neighbor, the 60-year-old WANG Jin, is estranged from his family and, with nothing to lose, decides to join him. Later the pair is joined by HUANG Ling, WEI’s classmate. She is bedeviled by a destructive affair with a married school official. Together, this unlikely and desperate trio, decide their only hope is to flee as the bully’s gangster brother, enraged parents, and vindictive school authorities all go on a cold-blooded hunt for WEI across town. As WEI threads his way through the urban wilderness, he begins to come to terms with his own lost life. In the end, he boards a long-distance bus with HUANG and WANG toward a city in Manchuria, where it is a rumored that a circus elephant is said to be sitting still, seeming oblivious to pain and tribulations of the world at large.

“Powerfully Absorbing! An act of solemn, disciplined and passionate protest.” —New York Times

“One of the greatest recent films! The film is a masterwork of a rare sort, perhaps of a unique sort.” —New Yorker

“The feature proves a delicately layered, deftly shot work that makes an incisive statement about the prevalence of apathy, arrogance and egotism in contemporary China and beyond.” —Screen Daily

“The film’s images extricate beauty from the most dismal of situations and together with his actors, all of whom deliver performances of astounding sensitivity, Hu manages to evoke emotions so deeply felt and overwhelming, they compensate for any narrative contrivances.” —Sight and Sound

“The work of raw, intimidating talent driven by a creative fury.” —The Film Stage

Berlin International Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize
Hong Kong International Film Festival – Audience Choice Prize
New Directors New Films, NY
Locarno International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival

230 minutes / Color
Mandarin / English subtitles
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2018

For individual consumers (home video)

This DVD is sold for private, home use only.

Subject areas:
KimStim Collection

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