7.1/10
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31 user 65 critic

The World (2004)

Shijie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 15 April 2005 (China)
An exploration on the impact of urbanization and globalization on a traditional culture.

Director:

Zhangke Jia

Writer:

Zhangke Jia
5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tao Zhao ... Tao
Taishen Cheng Taishen Cheng ... Taisheng
Jue Jing Jue Jing ... Wei
Zhongwei Jiang Zhongwei Jiang ... Niu (as Zhong-wei Jiang)
Yiqun Huang Yiqun Huang ... Qun
Hongwei Wang Hongwei Wang ... Sanlai
Jing Dong Liang Jing Dong Liang ... Tao's ex-boyfriend
Shuai Ji Shuai Ji ... Erxiao
Wan Xiang Wan Xiang ... Youyou
Alla Shcherbakova Alla Shcherbakova ... Anna
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sanming Han ... Sanming
Juan Iu Juan Iu ... Yanqing
Xiaodong Liu Xiaodong Liu ... Karaoke singer
Xiaoshuai Wang
Learn more

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Storyline

"The World" is a theme park on the outskirts of Beijing, sixteen kilometers from the Chinese capital, designed around scaled representations of the world's famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.The site is seen here not from the visitors' point of view but through the eyes of a few of its staff, lonely people, communicating poorly, a bit disillusioned with life, glittering for the tourists but dull and restricted as far as they are concerned. We meet, among others, pretty young dancer Tao and Taisheng, a security guard who is fond of her but not of personal commitment... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France : # 111851. See more »

Quotes

wedding guests: [wedding guests propose a toast] In honor of? History's great beauties... Yang Guifei, Pan Jinlian, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna! and all the beauties! For which cause? World peace, women's rights and faces without freckles!
See more »

Connections

References Tokyo Story (1953) See more »

User Reviews

 
See the world in a day.
6 May 2005 | by mercuryadonisSee all my reviews

"The World" is set in the tacky eponymous Beijing theme park and details the lives of the alienated young workers who are spiritually and physically trapped there. It's a subtle, delicate, yet powerful film with a directing style that can best described as artfully unobtrusive. The young director/writer is a master of composition, camera movement and sound. Some of the scenes unspool without editing for several minutes, the camera mostly still, sometimes moving with the action but never on the whim of the filmmaker. Sound and dialogue occur off-screen in a way that reminds one of the great Japanese director Ozu. (Indeed, one of the film's inter-titled chapters is called "Tokyo Story".

One of the best examples of this style is a grimy hotel room scene between the lead couple in which very little happens--an attempted seduction, but no sex--that is so authentic it feels almost voyeuristic to watch. In another scene, a father counts and pockets four stacks of money bestowed to him by the authorities for the accidental death of his son, his face an expressionless mask that hides more pain than could ever be shown. In an opening scene the camera tracks a female dancer running through a theatre backstage, pleading for a band aid she will never get--thus slyly presaging the untreatable tragedies that will eventually unfold.

The central characters are so alone, alienated and unable to communicate in any meaningful way--much of the dialogue is spoken into the ubiquitous cellphones--that the closest any two people come together are two woman--one Chinese, the other Russian--who don't speak a word of each other's language.

This is the best kind of social commentary a film can offer, images that show and don't tell. At times it feels plodding--especially the last half hour--some of the characters could use more development, and the animated cellphone sequences seem unnecessary and distracting. But the depiction of contemporary urban China's deepening social malaise--the result of far too rapid urbanization and unchecked Westernization--is troubling enough to make one fear the country's--and the world's--future.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

China | Japan | France

Language:

Mandarin | Russian | English

Release Date:

15 April 2005 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

World See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,390, 3 July 2005

Gross USA:

$64,123

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$246,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) | (mainland china)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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