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Two grifters, Wang Bo and Wang Li, a couple who've been arguing, board a train in rural China. He wants to fleece a peasant, nicknamed Dumbo for his naiveté, who's carrying 60,000 yuan and trusts everyone. She wants to protect the hick kid, an act of expiation brought on by prayer and a visit to a temple. Also on board are one of more sets of thieves, including a calculating boss and his femme fatale. The boss wants to recruit Wang Bo, and a series of contests ensue, with the potential of turning deadly. While Li guards Dumbo from Bo and the others, can she and Bo sort out their relationship? And can Dumbo's simple spirituality touch anyone else? Written by
World without Thieves (Tian Xia Wu Zei) is a film by director Feng Xiaogang. It involves a romantically involved pair of thieves. As the film begins they are extorting money from a rich man they have filmed trying to seduce the woman. Soon after this, the woman decides she has had enough of this kind of life and wants a normal existence. Her partner in crime, however, has no intention of quitting the business. She stops at a Buddhist temple to pray and there is befriended by a worker on the temple. The man, whose friends call him Dumbo, is returning home with his five years wages from working on the temple, 60, 000 RMB. Although his friends tell him to wire the money home and warn him about thieves he insists he is fine taking the money on the train with him and that they are too distrustful of people. In an attempt to prove to his friends that there are no thieves on the train, the young man has announces to the entire train that he has the money and that any thieves should show themselves. When they don't, Dumbo says, "see,there are no thieves here." On the train, he hooks up with the thieving couple, and the woman makes it her mission to try to protect the gullible young man from those who would steal the money, in particular from a gang of thieves on the train, and perhaps from her own partner. Like Bu Jian, Bu San, this film is not a light comedy, although it seems to start out as such. Instead, it is a serious and emotionally taxing film that can be alternatively thought provoking and hilarious, with the contrast between the gullibility of the young man and the sophistication of the world weary thieves providing the central moral focus Feng is a major Chinese writer/director. He traditionally releases movies around the Chinese New Year. A beautiful movie, highly recommended.
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