China, 2008, 103 minutes
Sun, Apr 26 / 6:15 / Kabuki / GOOC26K
Tue, Apr 28 / 8:45 / Kabuki / GOOC28K
Wed, Apr 29 / 9:15 / Kabuki / GOOC29K
Fri, May 1 / 3:15 / Kabuki / GOOC01K
Luo Liang, a young man trying to meet the expectations of family and work, has come to town looking for something better but is unsure of his lot in life. His snobbish wife nags him to get a proper job and learn some skills. He responds by romancing a prostitute. His role as a driver for ruthless property developer Boss Peng soon is ratcheted up to enforcer, as Peng’s ambitions expand. His former mentor, meanwhile, sees his fortunes sink and heads for a tragic end. Following Taking Father Home (SKYY Prize, SFIFF 2006), and The Other Half (SFIFF 2008), Ying Liang continues to document the effects of fraud, greed and corruption—capitalism —in his home town of Zigong, charting how economic changes have altered the lives of many Chinese today. Ying’s invocation of the three destinies of modern Chinese man—as wanderer, corrupt boss or tragic loser—is enriched through sly wit, excellent work with nonprofessional actors and his insertion of Chinese rock group Lamb’s Funeral into scenes where the band functions as a kind of Greek chorus to the proceedings. As a putative master of the bleak comedy, Ying finds irony in Deng Xiaoping’s ends-justify-means dictum that a cat’s color is irrelevant: It’s good as long as it catches the rat. But just look how the cats unleashed by Deng have turned out.
In Mandarin with English subtitles. Presented in association with the Center for Asian American Media. West Coast Premiere.