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Bitter Money

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Bitter Money (2016)

152 min - Drama - 9 September 2016
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In a fast growing city of East China, migrants have been arriving and living for a dream of a better life. But what they find there is little opportunities and poor living conditions that push people, even couples, into violent and oppressive relations. Xiao Min, Ling Ling and Lao Yeh are some of the characters of this bitter chronicle of today China. Presented at Venezia 73, Orizzonti. In a fast growing city of East China, migrants have been arriving and living for a dream of a better life. But what they find there is little opportunities and poor living conditions that push people, even couples, into violent and oppressive relations. Xiao Min, Ling Ling and Lao Yeh are some of the characters of this bitter chronicle of today China. In Yunnan province, Xiao Min, 15 years old, embarks in a long journey. Leaving her family, she’s on her way to start a new life with her cousins. They are going to work in some industrial city of eastern China, as seem to do many of the young people travelling the thousand of kilometers by their side in the bus and the train. At her work place, Xiao Min meets another migrant girl, Ling Ling, who’s been in this city for a long time. Long enough to be suffering from sleep disorder, anxiety and stress that make her life a misery. Her relation with her husband is in trouble, as living with little income pushes them into regular violent interaction, threats and fights. Victim of a work accident, her husband has lost his right hand and his dreams. Ling Ling is courageous enough to stand up to him, but friends and clients of her husband’s little shop seem to be the ones preventing the worst to happen. One of her good Samaritan, Lao Yeh, now 40, is one of the oldest resident in the neighborhood. He is in love with a co-worker, a married woman, with whom he likes to spend time talking. His life is otherwise quite empty, apart from the discussions with his dorm friend, Huang Lei, always dragging and complaining about his abusing boss and his tiny wages. Director’s statement Ku Qian follows three young people leaving their Yunnan hometown to go to work for the first time in one of the busiest city of China East coast, a place with the highest number of part-time workers. The camera follows each character closely, capturing the true emotions of their daily hard work and their disappointments upon receiving their wages. Money has never been more important in Chinese society. As now everyone wishes to become wealthy. However, the reality is that everyone lives in a daydream. Life’s still a barren everywhere you look. In an era filled with illusions and disappointments, we often cheat our own feelings in order to live an obedient life. “Wandering” has become the main theme in normal Chinese people’s opinion today. I used swaying of focuses, wondering from one subject to the other, with a constant stagger of camera shots and characters, in order to tell their stories.

Director:  Wang Bing
Stars: 

Photos

Storyline

In a fast growing city of East China, migrants have been arriving and living for a dream of a better life. But what they find there is little opportunities and poor living conditions that push people, even couples, into violent and oppressive relations. Xiao Min, Ling Ling and Lao Yeh are some of the characters of this bitter chronicle of today China. Presented at Venezia 73, Orizzonti. In a fast growing city of East China, migrants have been arriving and living for a dream of a better life. But what they find there is little opportunities and poor living conditions that push people, even couples, into violent and oppressive relations. Xiao Min, Ling Ling and Lao Yeh are some of the characters of this bitter chronicle of today China. In Yunnan province, Xiao Min, 15 years old, embarks in a long journey. Leaving her family, she’s on her way to start a new life with her cousins. They are going to work in some industrial city of eastern China, as seem to do many of the young people travelling the thousand of kilometers by their side in the bus and the train. At her work place, Xiao Min meets another migrant girl, Ling Ling, who’s been in this city for a long time. Long enough to be suffering from sleep disorder, anxiety and stress that make her life a misery. Her relation with her husband is in trouble, as living with little income pushes them into regular violent interaction, threats and fights. Victim of a work accident, her husband has lost his right hand and his dreams. Ling Ling is courageous enough to stand up to him, but friends and clients of her husband’s little shop seem to be the ones preventing the worst to happen. One of her good Samaritan, Lao Yeh, now 40, is one of the oldest resident in the neighborhood. He is in love with a co-worker, a married woman, with whom he likes to spend time talking. His life is otherwise quite empty, apart from the discussions with his dorm friend, Huang Lei, always dragging and complaining about his abusing boss and his tiny wages. Director’s statement Ku Qian follows three young people leaving their Yunnan hometown to go to work for the first time in one of the busiest city of China East coast, a place with the highest number of part-time workers. The camera follows each character closely, capturing the true emotions of their daily hard work and their disappointments upon receiving their wages. Money has never been more important in Chinese society. As now everyone wishes to become wealthy. However, the reality is that everyone lives in a daydream. Life’s still a barren everywhere you look. In an era filled with illusions and disappointments, we often cheat our own feelings in order to live an obedient life. “Wandering” has become the main theme in normal Chinese people’s opinion today. I used swaying of focuses, wondering from one subject to the other, with a constant stagger of camera shots and characters, in order to tell their stories.


Collections: Wang Bing

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   France Hong Kong
Release Date:  9 September 2016

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies:  GLADYS GLOVER, Chinese Shadows, House on Fire

Technical Specs

Runtime:  2 h 32 min

In Yunnan province, Xiao Min, 15 years old, embarks in a long journey. Leaving her
family, she’s on her way to start a new life with her cousins. They are going to work in some industrial city of eastern China, as seem to do many of the young people travelling the thousand of kilometers by their side in the bus and the train.