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Pick Pocket (1997)
"Xiao Wu" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1997 (China)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 962 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 16 critic

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »



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Title: Pick Pocket (1997)

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Hongwei Wang ...
Xiao Wu
Hao Hongjian ...
Mei Mei
Zuo Baitao
Ma Jinrei
Liu Junying
Yonghao Liang
An Qunyan
Jiang Dongdong
Zhao Long
Wang Reiren
Jinfeng Gao
Li Renzhu
Wu Juan
Ji Jinshu
Ren Zhaorui


Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past? Written by ZOO-9 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1997 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Pickpocket  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Zhangke Jia:  the man sent by Xiao Yang to return Xiao Wu's wedding present. See more »


Referenced in Unknown Pleasures (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Realistic depiction of chinese small-towners
20 June 2002 | by (Beijing, China) – See all my reviews

Xiaowu is an average young man in a typical small town in China. He is shy, stubborn, values friendship, sometimes vanity-driven, sometimes even romantic. And he is a pick-pocket.

It is surprising that although hundreds of millions of people lead their lives like xiaowu, "Xiao Wu" is the first candid depiction of their life in the many years of chinese filmmaking. I was particularly struck by the camera's honesty: run-down buildings along littered streets, filthy public bath places, hidden brothels camouflaged as karaoke shops...

As the country opens up for economical changes, some people have "their own ways" to take advantage of the change and became rich, while the rest struggle to make a living. The film provided vivid portraits of people you probably know or have heard of: the former pick-pocket buddy of xiaowu who became a famous entrepreneur and grew ashamed of having a friend who picks pockets; the girl who works at a Karaoke but tells her mom that she's at school, who dreams of becoming a star and fell in love with xiaowu but eventually "contracted" herself to a rich man from Shan Xi...

Even if you are not particularly interested in the setting of the film, the universal conflict of dignity and making a living, vanity and friendship, dream and reality, makes this film very interesting to watch.

Bravo, Jia ZhangKe! I give this film a 10/10 for being the first of a genre that will shine in chinese cinema.

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