An Elephant Sitting Still

A film by Hu Bo. In Mandarin with German subtitles.

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In the nort­hern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say the­re is an ele­phant that sim­ply sits and igno­res the world. Manzhouli beco­mes an obses­si­on for the prot­ago­nists of this film, a lon­ged-for escape from the down­ward spi­ral in which they find them­sel­ves. Among them is school­boy Bu, on the run after pushing Shuai down the stairs, who was bul­ly­ing him pre­vious­ly. Bu’s class­ma­te Ling has run away from her mother and fal­len for the charms of her tea­cher. Shuai’s older bro­ther Cheng feels respon­si­ble for the sui­ci­de of a friend. And final­ly, along with many other cha­rac­ters who­se fates are inextri­ca­b­ly bound tog­e­ther, there’s Mr. Wang, a spright­ly pen­sio­ner who­se son wants to off­load him onto a home. In vir­tuo­so visu­al com­po­si­ti­ons, the film tells the sto­ry of one sin­gle sus­pen­se­ful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart.
This elec­tri­fy­ing direc­to­ri­al debut from Hu Bo, who­se novels alrea­dy cau­sed a sen­sa­ti­on in China, is a four-hour por­trait of a socie­ty of ego­ists. Tragically, it will also be the final chap­ter in his lega­cy. On October 12, 2017, the artist took his own life at age 29.

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Credits:
Volksrepublik China 2018, Mandarin OmU, 230 Min.,
Regie, Buch: Hu Bo
Kamera: Fan Chao
Schnitt: Hu Bo
mit: Zhang Yu
Peng Yuchang
Wang Yuwen
Liu Congxi

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