7.4/10
1,617
11 user 17 critic

Xiao Wu (1997)

Unrated | | Drama | 1997 (China)
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »

Director:

Zhangke Jia

Writer:

Zhangke Jia
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Platform (2000)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A theatre troupe from rural Fenyang struggles under the decline of communism and rise of popular culture in China in the 1980s.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang
Still Life (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Zhou Lan, Sanming Han
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Wei Wei Zhao, Qiong Wu, Tao Zhao
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A cook living in Beijing, whose employment is coming to an end, plans to return home to his rural village for the New Year. He approaches several of his old friends, also working in the ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Shuzhe Dong, Hongwei Wang, Sheng Yao
The World (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An exploration on the impact of urbanization and globalization on a traditional culture.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Taishen Cheng, Jue Jing
24 City (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Change and a city in China. In Chengdu, factory 420 is being pulled down to make way for multi-story buildings with luxury flats. Scenes of factory operations, of the workforce, and of ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Jianbin Chen, Joan Chen, Liping Lü
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Yi Zhang, Jing Dong Liang
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Four independent stories set in modern China about random acts of violence.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao
I Wish I Knew (2010)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Focuses on the people, their stories and architecture spanning from the mid-1800s, when Shanghai was opened as a trading port, to the present day.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Yindi Cao, Hsin-i Chang, Danqing Chen
Dong (2006)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

China's greatest living filmmaker Jia Zhangke (Platform, The World) travels with acclaimed painter Liu Xiaodong from China to Thailand as they meet everyday workers in the throes of social ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Xiaodong Liu, Sanming Han
Wuyong (2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

About people around fashion and clothing industry in China.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Ke Ma
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Yi'nan Diao
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hongwei Wang Hongwei Wang ... Xiao Wu
Hongjian Hao Hongjian Hao ... Mei Mei
Baitao Zuo Baitao Zuo
Ma Jinrei Ma Jinrei
Liu Junying Liu Junying
Yonghao Liang Yonghao Liang
An Qunyan An Qunyan
Dongdong Jiang Dongdong Jiang
Long Zhao Long Zhao
Reiren Wang Reiren Wang
Jinfeng Gao Jinfeng Gao
Li Renzhu Li Renzhu
Wu Juan Wu Juan
Ji Jinshu Ji Jinshu
Zhaorui Ren Zhaorui Ren
Edit

Storyline

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past? Written by ZOO-9 <b.vanrijnsoever@student.kun.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

1997 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pickpocket See more »

Filming Locations:

Fenyang, China

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed with a mostly hand-held 16mm camera in 21 days. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unknown Pleasures (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
great story, great cast, great film
1 December 2004 | by vero_600See all my reviews

Unlike a lot of other contemporary Chinese films, Xiao Wu succeeds in gaining viewers empathy for the title character. We never really find out how the so-called "artisan pickpocket" got himself into the state he's in; it's almost as if he woke up one morning to find that he was alone and jobless at an age when he should be settling down like all of his friends. However, not knowing how he arrived at this point makes his growing desperation more tangible as we see him reaching out to everyone he can, only to be rejected.

Wang Hongwei is amazing as the title character, he makes it easy to relate to the character's loneliness and longing. Considering the actors in Xiao Wu are all amateurs, Wang's performance is even more amazing. Granted, he was given a great character to work with: in spite of his occupation, Xiao Wu is a nice guy. (His beautifully awkward relationship with the karaoke hostess is a fine example of this).

All in all, I think this is one of the best Chinese films from the past decade. The characters are better developed than in other contemporary films, and the story is neither contrived nor simplistic. Xiao Wu would seem to be a lot more accessible than other Chinese art films because it lacks the slow bits characteristic of that genre. I would highly recommend Xiao Wu to anyone interested in Chinese cinema.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed