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On the Beat

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On the Beat (1995)

102 min - Comedy, Foreign - 8 September 1995
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Take crime out of police work, and what's left is procedures. In the western sector of Beijing, we follow the tedium of police officers. A rabid dog is loose in Guoli's beat: a gang of police officers hunts it down. Then, word comes from on high to pick up all the dogs in the sector: fear of rabies combines with the dogs' being status symbols of the nouveau riche. Occasionally a criminal is picked up: someone selling porn, someone running a three-card-monte game. Cops smoke, go to meetings, and hold trainings. They patrol on bicycles and enforce edicts. Guoli works nights. He's lazy at home, his wife wants him to do more. Is there any more to do?

Director:  Ning Ying
Stars:  Li Jian, Wang Lingui, Liu Ying Shu, Li Zhanho, Zhiming Zhao, Shen Zhenou

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Storyline

Take crime out of police work, and what's left is procedures. In the western sector of Beijing, we follow the tedium of police officers. A rabid dog is loose in Guoli's beat: a gang of police officers hunts it down. Then, word comes from on high to pick up all the dogs in the sector: fear of rabies combines with the dogs' being status symbols of the nouveau riche. Occasionally a criminal is picked up: someone selling porn, someone running a three-card-monte game. Cops smoke, go to meetings, and hold trainings. They patrol on bicycles and enforce edicts. Guoli works nights. He's lazy at home, his wife wants him to do more. Is there any more to do?


Collections: Ning Ying

Genres: Comedy, Foreign

Details

Official Website: 
Release Date:  8 September 1995

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies: 

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 42 min

On the Beat (民警故事; Mín jǐng gù shì; literally: “People’s Police Story”) is a 1995 Chinese film directed by Ning Ying.

On the Beat by Ning Ying Movie Trailer

It is the second film in Ning Ying’s Beijing Trilogy, a collection of three films that follows the massive changes to Beijing in the last decades of the twentieth century. Whereas Ning’s previous film, For Fun dealt with the older generation, On the Beat is firmly focused on the story of the middle-aged. I Love Beijing, meanwhile, would follow characters belonging Beijing’s younger generations. On the Beat was coproduced by Eurasia Communications, Euskal Media and the state-operated Beijing Film Studio. Some funding was also from the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund.

On the Beat follows a group of police officers in the Deshengmen Precinct during the slow months of winter. The policemen, stuck in the dull winter months of Beijing, get stuck in routine, only occasionally finding excitement, as when they chase after a rabid dog.

Released in 1995, On the Beat made the rounds of most of the major international film festivals, including Toronto, Telluride and San Sebastian, among others.

Plot

On the Beat consists mainly of a series of vignettes involving members of a local precinct in the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Filmed in the slow months of December, January, and February[1] the members of the PSB find they have little in the way of substantive police work. Instead they spend time (and manpower) on small incidents like the chasing of a possibly rabid dog, the arrest of a small-time con artist, and the reprimanding of a man who sells posters of a woman in a bathing suit.

Though the incidents seem small, the PSB treats each with deadly seriousness, often to comedic effect. The film culminates in the arrest and intense interrogation of a man who may have insulted a police officer. Realizing that they have no evidence, the officers bluster as they attempt to avoid losing face. [wikipedia]