7.2/10
648
14 user 21 critic

Zuotian (2001)

An actor becomes increasingly introverted and psychotic and his entire family attempts to intervene.

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Xiuling Chai ...
Hongshen's mother
Fengsen Jia ...
Hongshen's father
...
Hongshen
Tong Wang ...
Hongshen's sister
Shun Xing ...
Jia's roommate
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Storyline

In the early 1990s, Hongshen Jia, then in his mid twenties and based in Beijing, was considered one of the most promising of the emerging actors in China, with several movie and television roles to his credit. However, self doubt in his acting abilities coupled with an emerging drug problem, especially with heroin, led to him deciding to quit acting. Instead, he spent his time solely listening to music and taking drugs. His erratic behavior led to alienation of friends and ultimately leading a solitary life. First his sister and then in addition his rural based parents, his father who took early retirement, came to live with Hongshen in Beijing to help him through his life problems, which included financially supporting him. Hongshen treated them poorly, especially his father, who in turn accepted Hongshen's abusive behavior all in the name of helping him. But they didn't trust him and followed him everywhere. Ultimately the family had figure out what to do to best help Hongshen. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | actor | friend | chinese | heroin | See All (132) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 March 2002 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Quitting  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,908 (USA) (13 September 2002)

Gross:

$17,717 (USA) (11 October 2002)
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Company Credits

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User Reviews

 
a gripping and intelligently constructed film with great acting
20 February 2002 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2002. This seemed to be one of the less popular films on the festival, however, as it turned out, all the more interesting.

The story, of an actor trying to come to grips with himself and his environment after withdrawing from a drug addiction, is based on actual facts. Moreover, the characters playing in the film are the real people living this experience over again, this time for the film, which is partly set up as a stage play. Not only do they all happen to be good actors, Jia Hongsheng's parents are actors in real life as well, the methods used in highlighting their relationship towards Jia are very effective.

Jia Hongsheng is the actor of some Chinese action films late eighties start nineties. Later you can see him in great films such as Frozen and Suzhou River. In between these two career paths Jia becomes a drug addict and looses all drive to act or even do anything productive, except for making somewhat futile attempts at becoming a guitar virtuoso.

I like the way the writer of the scenario choose to emphasize on his behavior after withdrawal more than on the horror of drugs. We really feel the pain and struggle Jia is in. At the same time we hate him for the way he treats those around him.

The film draws the viewer into a tiring pattern Jia seems to be caught in, dragging with him his parents and sister who try to take care of him. Because there are personal 'interviews' with the characters we feel like we are getting to know Jia not only through himself but through others as well.

The film has a heavy feel, but scenes of Jia cycling through Bejing and partying with his friends lighten the tone. So does the bitter humor in a lot of events throughout the film. The music is beautiful and stayed with me for a while after. This is a film that might not easily appeal to many people but for those interested in the more serious and modern Chinese film this is a strong recommendation.


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