6.7/10
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Bai ri yan huo (2014)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 21 March 2014 (China)
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An ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again.

Director:

Yi'nan Diao

Writer:

Yi'nan Diao
11 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Fan Liao ... Zhang Zili
Lun-Mei Kwei ... Wu Zhizhen
Xuebing Wang ... Liang Zhijun
Jingchun Wang ... Rong Rong
Ailei Yu Ailei Yu ... Captain Wang
Jingyang Ni Jingyang Ni ... Su Lijuan
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Storyline

An ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is untraceable. Answers want to be found. Bet on your life to win back love.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

21 March 2014 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Coal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The literal translation of the Chinese title is 'Daylight Fireworks'. This is the name of the nightclub where Zhang learns a major lead, and is also echoed in the last scene. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Black, Very Icy...
10 July 2017 | by paulknoblochSee all my reviews

How does a Chinese director empty the noir sensibility of any and all of the glamour associated with its Hollywood counterpart? How does it become a study in pure dourness and grimness? If you're Yi'nan Diao, the first thing you do is set it in a place as grim and dour as a northern Chinese factory town circa 1999. In this frozen wasteland that may or may not be Harbin – it doesn't matter, it could be Siberia – the ball gets rolling when dead body parts start showing up on the conveyor belt of a coal processing plant: after all, in this time and space in China, the human body is just another physical commodity…

Following a bloody shootout that leaves the two main suspects and two of his partners dead, we jump forward five years to find the surviving detective, Zhang Zili, paralyzed by the trauma, retired from the police force and passed out in the snow in an alcoholic stupor. But things are never what they seem in noir, right? So he's dragged back into the case when a former partner of his suspects the involvement of a black widow- like female at the heart of the matter. An exotic call girl? A mysterious nightclub singer? No – just some depressed woman who works at a dry cleaner's where she's regularly mauled by her piggish oaf of a boss.

The plot is unimportant, really, because the film is one big painting, a night-time world where the neon signs of the internet gambling dens and bleak taxi-dancing joints are beaten into submission by the cold dark chill of northern China, where all color and light are sucked into the film's essence, which is nothing but a black hole, a gravitational death machine that swallows up every photon in sight. At one point, while spinning around the world's most depressing ice skating rink, Zili asks his former partner, "Does anybody ever really win at life?" Of course not. Like all the other catatonic ice skaters, he's just going round and round, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind (depending on one's point of view…) getting nowhere while people continue to copulate and kill and die. The key to the film is the direct translation of the Chinese title, which means "daytime fireworks." I'll let you figure that out for yourself, but if you like your noir pitch-black, this one's for you.


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