It's an epical, relaxed, meandering, beautiful, rich, etc. laconic time portrayal of China's cultural history in the 80s, based on the fate of a theatre company. The protagonists are mostly "twen slackers" who wait for the artistic breakthrough, and director Jia follows their lives in mostly aloof, breathing tableaux. What in today's cinema Hou Hsiao-hsien achieves for space and Béla Tarr for time, is combined in here, without directly referring to both of them. Here, horrible tragedies (a divorce lacking any emotions) take place as well as not less horrible comedies (the mine workers contract: "Death and accident are acts of destiny. The firm will not take any responsibility."), but everything seems to be straightly taken from real life. The title 'Platform' alone already indicates the oddly depressing tone of the film. The desperate waiting, eternally postponed by short changes of perspective as a fundamental experience of a whole era. "We're standing on the platform and we're still waiting, waiting." Although, the film is set in the 80s, 'Platform' also brilliantly and perfectly captures the mood at the end of the 20th century: a rampant epos of never realised chances and daily travail. The film of the new millennium.