7.1/10
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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:

Zhangke Jia

Writer:

Zhangke Jia
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
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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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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:

$6,776, 4 July 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$63,662, 23 October 2005
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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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 Tokyo Story (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unmatched surreal universe brought to life
12 October 2005 | by smakawhatSee all my reviews

How can you truly show disconnection. I think I have truly seen a master in action with Shijie, a film that takes place in a world theme park (this place does really exist) in China.

Zhang Ke Jia is a masterful director. His use of colour and character direction is unreal. One of the things he uses to great effect are arches and hallways. Characters appear in them, or look out of them in what is some of the most visual photography I have ever witnessed. There is also a great conversation scene between two characters who don't share the same language, and the use of reflected light that is truly remarkable, make sure to watch for this scene. But it doesn't end there.

Zhang also does something so miraculous that I thought would be impossible. He borrows heavily from Ozu, particularly a scene that is reminiscent of Tokyo Story and makes something that is uniquely his own.

The basic synopsis of "The World", is of the lives of the workers in the theme park. Some romances develop, a foreign Russian worker Anna is introduced to the group even though she and another Chinese girl Tao don't share the same language. Everyday trials and tribulations happen for these young adults who are trying to work in the 'New China'.

Somehow though with all the issues involved, rural people coming into the cities, technological communication, the erosion of China's agrarian past, the fakeness of place, the exploitation of workers and lead up to prostitution, the camaraderie of friends, the cheapness of life.. somehow all of these themes are jumbled into a glorious presentation that you can't take your eyes off of.

The film is beyond surreal, its real setting makes it all more spectacular and that more effective. I had a hard time separating the actors from the characters, at times I thought I was watching a documentary and I prayed or hoped for someone to do well and be happy and find themselves thinking that these were real people in harsh sometimes difficult situations. "The World" has this effect on you, you can't begin to believe the beauty and harshness it shows, and it tricks you in the most crafty way.

The World is a truly fantastic small place in more ways than one...

Rating 9 out of 10


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