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Platform (2000) More at IMDbPro »Zhantai (original title)


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7.4/10   1,649 votes »
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Release Date:
2 August 2001 (Netherlands) See more »
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
9 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A nation that lost itself See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order)
Hongwei Wang ... Minliang

Tao Zhao ... Ruijuan
Jing Dong Liang ... Chang Jun
Tian-yi Yang ... Zhong Pin
Bo Wang ... Yao Eryong
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sanming Han ... Sanming

Directed by
Zhangke Jia 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Zhangke Jia 

Produced by
Keung Chow .... associate producer
Joël Farges .... co-producer
Juliette Grandmont .... co-producer
Shôzô Ichiyama .... producer (as Shozo Ichiyama)
Elise Jalladeau .... co-producer
Kit Ming Li .... producer
Masayuki Mori .... executive producer
Nelson Lik-wai Yu .... associate producer (as Yu Lik Wai)
Original Music by
Yoshihiro Hanno 
Cinematography by
Nelson Lik-wai Yu  (as Yu Lik Wai)
Film Editing by
Jinlei Kong  (as Jing Lei Kong)
Art Direction by
Sheng Qiu 
Costume Design by
Lei Qi 
Xiafei Zhao 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Crystal Gong Chun .... assistant director (as Gong Chun)
Gu Zheng .... assistant director
Sound Department
Yang Zhang .... sound mixer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zhantai" - Hong Kong (original title)
See more »
154 min | Italy:193 min (Venice Film Festival) | Japan:185 min (Tokyo FILMeX 2000) | Taiwan:190 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | France:U | Portugal:M/12 | Spain:13 | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Director 'Jia Zhangke' has said that he prefers the shorter, more widely-seen version of his film to the first three-hour version, which was completed under duress.See more »
Movie Connections:
Huoche xiangzhe shaoshan pao (Train ran toward the Shaoshan)See more »


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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A nation that lost itself, 10 April 2007
Author: anonyimdb1 from United States

The essence of the story is simple, though with multi-layered implications.

For the essence, the dialogue says it all : "Where is outer-Mongolia (the name used by the Chinese for Mongolia)?" "North of inner-Mongolia (a province of China)." "Which country lies north to the outer-Mongolia?" "Russia." "Still north?" "The ocean." "What is beyond that?" "Fenyang, your home town." . The essence is "nowhereness".

The members of the state-owned vaudeville group were supposed to be the cultural elites of the town, with most of the peasants illiterate, intellectually bleak, and with no appreciation for art. They could perform ballet, opera, various instruments, and flamenco. But they were tied to the peasants, for they were the tools for the government to please and entertain the grassroots of its support. They had all the longing for a brave new life that would suit their values, ideologies, and aesthetics, but they did not know how to act. Though they were given the eye for a better life, they were deprived of the chance to live it. They still lived as the peasants, eking out a meager living. Both the inaction on their behalf and the innate determinant posed by the social reality for their inaction constitutes the "nowhereness" for the semi-intellectuals.

All they ever had was a moment of pleasure and inspiration by art and an everlasting bitterness and backbreaking excruciation imposed by the actual living that goes nowhere and has no end.

The life of the masses is another layer of the "nowhereness". It is no doubt that the change in China during the '80s were profound. The Big Brother abandoned the central planning economy along with the ideology that acted as the appurtenance. A new kind of exploitation took the place of the old one, and the peasants (the masses) were still nowhere to be the beneficiaries. The illusory glory of contributing to the nation in the totalitarian state made way for the cheap and coarse consumer products in the national capitalism. The difference between the masses and the elite is that the masses never knows and never has the urge to know the truth. They were already consumed and wasted by the effort to sustain their mere existence. Leisure and education are never on their side. In the new world, they gained the return of a minute scrap from the spoils of the exploitation of their own sweat and blood, and lost the meaning of life with the peace of mind. They no longer has a direction or a cause. It is an every-man-for-himself scenario let loose in a country with 1.3 billion people. "Nowhereness" seems to be a result very much acceptable.

The last layer of the "nowhereness" is the nowhereness of the nation as a whole. The story of the Fenyang Town goes the same for the Chinese nation. The Jeffersonian-like ideal of the ancient empire was but yesterday's dream. The current China, dated back to mid-19th century, through its search for power, independence, and its own identity, has got used to the nation-wide mobilization, and consequently, with a constant change of plan, accidentally and successfully obliterated its own culture and identity. What is left is but the dregs of old memory and folklore. The nation's elite today could only satiate their quest for meaning with the ideas of the Western world that their forefathers labelled as barbarism one century and a half ago. As a culture entity, China is already lost.

A nation has thus lost itself.

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