7.4/10
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20 user 37 critic

Platform (2000)

Zhantai (original title)
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

Writer:

Zhangke Jia

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at Amazon

8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hongwei Wang Hongwei Wang ... Minliang
Tao Zhao ... Ruijuan
Jing Dong Liang Jing Dong Liang ... Chang Jun
Tian-yi Yang Tian-yi Yang ... Zhong Pin
Bo Wang Bo Wang ... Yao Eryong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sanming Han ... Sanming
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Storyline

Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the '80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

contemplative cinema | 1980s | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | China | Japan | France

Language:

Mandarin | Shanxi

Release Date:

29 August 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Platform See more »

Filming Locations:

Fenyang, China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (Tokyo FILMeX 2000)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song 'Genghis Khan' by George Lam is a cover of the German European Song Contest 1979 Entry 'Dschinghis Khan'. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Berlin film festival version (150 minutes) was shortened compared to the Venice film festival version (over 3 hours). See more »

Connections

Features Awaara (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Huoche xiangzhe shaoshan pao (Train ran toward the Shaoshan)
Written by 'Zhang Qiusheng'
See more »

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User Reviews

 
brilliant chronicle of two decades of economic liberalization
28 May 2002 | by bobbie-16See all my reviews

Platform ("Stage" might be a better translation)shows us the lives of a troupe of actors as China went from Maoism to markets, from 1980 to the 1990s. The treatment is sardonic and distant; we rarely see anyone in a closeup, and the point of view is as critical of liberalization (embodied in bad rock and go-go dancing) as it is of the cult of Mao (performed in the hilarious socialist-patriotic opera at the beginning of the movie). As Fassbinder said of the movies of Douglas Sirk, material objects--a brick wall, a pile of boards, a marketful of cheap clothing, bowls of noodles, embroidered slipcovers, copies of bellbottom pants, a truck, etc.--are at the center of the mise en scene, appropriately so, since the story is indeed about material changes. In fact the movie bears a lot of resemblance to Fassbinder's Marriage of Maria Braun, as both trace growing prosperity, consumerism, and personal alienation through a sequence of rooms, houses, relationships, and home furnishings. Provincial China moves from dirt, scarcity, and collectivism to a modest supply of consumer goods and more individual freedom/insecurity. This historical movement is intertwined with the characters' aging from their teens to middle age. There is no appreciable increase in human joy and happiness, nor a marked decrease either. This cold, distant treatment will not please some viewers.


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