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


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7.1/10   2,304 votes »
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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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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:
At the crossroad of modernization See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tao Zhao ... Tao
Taishen Cheng ... 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
Christian Dines .... restoration (uncredited)
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 »
Taisheng:Are we dead?
Tao:No, we have only just begun.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Titanic (1997)See more »


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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
At the crossroad of modernization, 16 May 2005

While fifth generation Chinese directors Zhang Yimou succumbed to crowd pleasing, turning out cheap, hollow, showy crap like Flying Dagger, sixth generation Jia Zhangke continues to remain faithful to making movies that reflect the sometimes painful metamorphosis the Chinese populace is going through at the crossroad of modernization. The World is such a recent attempt, although there are comments that this movie has already treaded across the line of commercialism.

"The World" here is a miniature world theme park which might be a novelty to Beijing but not the modernized parts of the world (there was one en route from Toronto to Niagara Falls over three decades ago, albeit at a smaller scale). The story evolves around dancer Xiao Tao (ZHAO Tao) and her boyfriend Tiasheng (CHEN Tiasheng). (While the actor conveniently adopted his real name for the character, Tao in the movie means "peach" while Tao in the actress means "waves", two entirely different words). Through the daily lives in the park (part of which is still under construction) and visits from various friends and relatives of the two main characters, we are exposed to how people interact, think, perceive, love, and more. Many of the sequences and dialogue are so realistic and real that you would wonder if these are simply people in the street asked by director Jia to stand in front of the camera (but some distance away) and converse the way they normally do.

The storytelling is straightforward and efficient, sometimes to the point of being skeletal. The camera is objective, impassionate and some may even call it dull. As if to make up for it, director Jia interspersed the script with animations, sometimes to mark off short episodes, each separately titled.

Not for the general audience, The World has an air of the rough-diamond kind of crudeness that makes it quite appealing to seekers of less main-stream cinemas. I do find it a little too long, even when I watched a two-hour version rather than the 140 minute version billed in the IMDb listing.

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