7.1/10
2,612
29 user 62 critic

Shijie (2004)

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

Director:

Writer:

5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Zhantai (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
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
Ren xiao yao (2002)
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
Xiao Wu (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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
Stars: Hongwei Wang, Hongjian Hao, Baitao Zuo
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
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
Wuyong (2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

About people around fashion and clothing industry in China.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Ke Ma
Dong (2006)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Xiaodong Liu, Sanming Han
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Annie Shizuka Inoh, Giong Lim, Jack Kao
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 April 2005 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The World  »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,776, 4 July 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$63,662, 23 October 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Taisheng: Are we dead?
Tao: No, we have only just begun.
See more »

Connections

References Roman Holiday (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Sad Picture of How Modernization is The Same the Whole World Over
15 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

"The World (Shijie)" is one of the saddest films I've ever seen and is a moving visualization of the tragedy of rising expectations.

While it is set very particularly in China, it achingly proves the universality of the twin globalization pulls of modernization and immigration over the past three hundred years around the world, recalling films from "Hester Street" to "The Emigrants (Utvandrarna)," and films about cities in throes of developmental change, like "Atlantic City."

These are universally recognizable young people - they rebel against and yet feel tied to their families and regretfully break ties with old friends; they fight with their siblings but bail them out; they get lonely, a bit homesick, and bored; they are jealous and ambitious; and they constantly compromise, particularly the women bargaining with the oldest currency. With what is a bit heavy-handed symbolism, the film is specifically set in what I presume is a real amusement park called "The World" on the outskirts of Beijing that replicates landmarks in scaled miniature and focuses on the employees and their extended, inter-connected network of friends and family.

At first, they look to us as swaggering city sophisticates, as they dress-up in international costumes for a park revue, surrounded by emblems of international commercial culture, like fake Louis Vuitton bags and movie posters, such as of "Titanic," They jealously and zealously call each other constantly by the most modern cell phone and text messengers, particularly from the encircling monorail that at first seems like a symbol of modern technology, but is really cobbled together from airplane parts--though one woman wistfully notes that she doesn't know anyone who has been on a plane- a frequent response to a call is "I'm on the train." -- but by the end the canned voice of progress is emblematic of the dead end circularity of their lives as they can't get passports to leave, let alone to see the real landmarks.

Travel is a constant theme visually and of conversation - when a country bumpkin shows up, the surprised greeting is "How did you get here?" such that "I bought a ticket." is not self-evident. -- to the security guards riding camels around the fake pyramids and horses around the fake castles, to the six hour bus ride it takes to another city to pay off a relative's gambling debts, and emphasized through fanciful animated interstices. The ironic geographical headings of the chapters emphasize a character's quixotic goal -- "world.com", "Ulan Bator Evening," "Belleville", "Tokyo Story." Striving as they all are, for these folks even Ulan Bator, the depressed capital of Mongolia, looks like a step up.

There are moving scenes when immigrants with different languages try to communicate to share the commonalities in their lives -- a Russian immigrant is terrified when her passport is taken away, while the Chinese woman is envious that she even has one.

It is a bit confusing keeping up with the various characters, in and out of their work costumes, especially when the two main characters seemed to change so much without explanation, but they are enormously sympathetic so it is devastating as we see their hopes and dreams, however unrealistic or selfish, defeated. And those who succeed do so on very compromised terms.

They are also not very articulate, which writer/director Zhang Ke Jia compensates for by spending a lot of time slowly setting up individual scenes and watching people interact, as we see how different they are in different contexts with different people, as body language becomes more important than words, whether spoken or in text messages.

While the cinematography was beautiful, the print I saw in New York was a bit scratchy and the English subtitles had several misspellings. I'm sure subtitle-dependent viewers lose a lot of the significance of different accents and regional differences among the employees from all over China.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial