An Elephant Sitting Still- -
In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, locals speak of an elephant who just sits there, never moving or responding. The story becomes a fixation for the characters in this film, who long to escape from the lives in which they find themselves. Chinese filmmaker Bo Hu’s ambitious and critically acclaimed debut feature takes place over the course of one day and focuses on various people left behind in China’s reach towards ongoing economic advancement. The story centres on a group of disaffected young people living in a city where the prospect of career or personal fulfilment seem remote. The political is always the personal in this epic tale of the need for security and redemption. Tragically, Bo Hu’s stirring first film is also his last - he ended his own life at the age of 29.
In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world.
In Manzhouli, people say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. A rookie accidental killer, a man who seeks revenge for his brother, an old man about to be abandoned, and a girl behind bars, all long for escape from the downward spiral and see the elephant. Hu Bo’s electrifying directorial debut is a mesmerizing tale about the emotional negative space in a city where all shattered characters are heading nowhere. Tragically, it’s also the final chapter in his legacy. The writer-director took his own life at age 29. [hkiff]