7.5/10
1,572
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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The director cast his friends as actors and shot everything on location in his hometown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unknown Pleasures (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Realistic depiction of chinese small-towners
20 June 2002 | by cd1793See all my reviews

Xiaowu is an average young man in a typical small town in China. He is shy, stubborn, values friendship, sometimes vanity-driven, sometimes even romantic. And he is a pick-pocket.

It is surprising that although hundreds of millions of people lead their lives like xiaowu, "Xiao Wu" is the first candid depiction of their life in the many years of chinese filmmaking. I was particularly struck by the camera's honesty: run-down buildings along littered streets, filthy public bath places, hidden brothels camouflaged as karaoke shops...

As the country opens up for economical changes, some people have "their own ways" to take advantage of the change and became rich, while the rest struggle to make a living. The film provided vivid portraits of people you probably know or have heard of: the former pick-pocket buddy of xiaowu who became a famous entrepreneur and grew ashamed of having a friend who picks pockets; the girl who works at a Karaoke but tells her mom that she's at school, who dreams of becoming a star and fell in love with xiaowu but eventually "contracted" herself to a rich man from Shan Xi...

Even if you are not particularly interested in the setting of the film, the universal conflict of dignity and making a living, vanity and friendship, dream and reality, makes this film very interesting to watch.

Bravo, Jia ZhangKe! I give this film a 10/10 for being the first of a genre that will shine in chinese cinema.


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