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The World (2004) More at IMDbPro »Shijie (original title)


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Release Date:
18 March 2005 (Canada) See more »
An exploration on the impact of urbanization and globalization on a traditional culture. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The World Park of Modern China See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tao Zhao ... Tao
Taisheng Chen ... Taisheng
Jue Jing ... Wei
Zhong-wei Jiang ... Niu
Yiqun Huang ... Qun
Hongwei Wang ... Sanlai
Jing Dong Liang ... Tao's ex-boyfriend
Shuai Ji ... Erxiao
Wan Xiang ... Youyou
Alla Shcherbakova ... Anna
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sanming Han ... Sanming
Juan Iu ... Yanqing
Xiaodong Liu ... Karaoke singer
Xiaoshuai Wang

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

Produced by
Keung Chow .... producer
Shôzô Ichiyama .... producer (as Shozo Ichiyama)
Masayuki Mori .... executive producer
Hengameh Panahi .... producer
Zhong-lun Ren .... producer
Tianyan Wang .... supervising producer
Takio Yoshida .... producer
Nelson Lik-wai Yu .... associate producer (as Yu Lik Wai)
Original Music by
Giong Lim 
Cinematography by
Nelson Lik-wai Yu 
Film Editing by
Jinlei Kong  (as Jing Lei Kong)
Production Design by
Li-zhong Wu 
Makeup Department
Yang Yuan Zhen .... hair stylist
Production Management
Elise Bastoul .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Laurent Bailly .... sound mixer
Si Guo Li .... boom operator
Yang Zhang .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Meng Da Yu .... grip
Ricky Wong .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Aure Gelis .... post-production assistant
Christophe Legendre .... grader
Other crew
Mathilde Incerti .... press attache
Pan Jian Lin .... location manager

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shijie" - China (original title)
"World" - USA (festival title)
See more »
Italy:140 min | USA:143 min | Argentina:143 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) | 105 min (mainland china)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Visa d'exploitation en France : # 111851.See more »
wedding guests:[wedding guests propose a toast] In honor of? History's great beauties... Yang Guifei, Pan Jinlian, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna! and all the beauties! For which cause? World peace, women's rights and faces without freckles!See more »
Movie Connections:
References Titanic (1997)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
The World Park of Modern China, 3 May 2005
Author: ( from Milwaukee, USA

While this film is radically different from Jia's earlier films it still packs the same cultural criticism wallop. A commentary on the urbanization of modern day China, Jia has moved into the slick world of government approved film-making without losing touch with the direction of his earlier films. It is tempting to watch the film superficially and dismiss it as a glossy state approved image. However, from my perspective, what is happening in the film is much more subtle; it is form of art-making that is particular to China and its authoritarian governing systems through history.

Practically speaking China has never enjoyed freedom of expression for its artists and writers. In order to get around censorship that came from absolute monarchies or dictatorships artists and writers would use subtle inter-textual messages. For instance, a line or radical would be left out a character to slightly change the meaning within the text. The head radical might be left out of a character describing the emperor to indicate the writers desire that the emperor be beheaded, or something along those lines. They were small enough messages that sympathizers would pick up on them, but a censor (censors usually not being the brightest or most creative people around) would miss it.

It is my opinion that Jia Zhangke is doing something along these lines with this film. It may not be as subtle as the messages have historically been, but a close reading clearly conveys something the government wouldn't be happy with. The Chinese government would like for the world to see them as metropolitan, glitzy, shiny, and new, so Jia, in this first film of his with government backing, uses cinema-scope, modern techno beats, computer animation and up-to-date electronics. But under the glitz is the reality screaming to get through the World Park facade. It is dirty and personal. There is prostitution, crime, and pirate copiers (maybe the theme here is modern Chinese society, as promoted by the government and big business, that is the pirated copy of the rest of the world). The subsistence living youth can all have cell phones, but for all their text messaging they don't seem to be able to communicate. Basically Jia seems to say that the Chinese youth are headed for a future of oblivion under the current direction of their country. It is hard to disagree with him. But at least he he leaves a morsel of hope in the end of it all.

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