7.8/10
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9 user 37 critic

An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)

Da xiang xi di er zuo (original title)
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2:20 | Trailer

Coming Soon

In theaters March 8.

In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a ... See full summary »

Director:

Bo Hu (as Qian Hu)

Writer:

Bo Hu
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Popularity
1,726 ( 217)
9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yu Zhang Yu Zhang ... Yu Cheng
Yuchang Peng ... Wei Bu
Uvin Wang ... Huang Ling (as Wang Yuwen)
Congxi Li Congxi Li ... Wang Jin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Xiang Rong Dong Xiang Rong Dong ... Dean
Jing Guo Jing Guo ... Dean's wife
Zhao-Yan Guo-Zhang Zhao-Yan Guo-Zhang ... Bu's father (as Guozhang ZhaoYan)
Miaomiao He Miaomiao He ... Cheng's friend's Mother
Ximan Huang Ximan Huang ... White dog's female owner
Wei Kong Wei Kong ... Jin's son-in-law
Yixin Kong Yixin Kong ... Jin's granddaughter
Binyuan Li Binyuan Li ... Scapler
Danyi Li Danyi Li ... Jin's daughter
Qing LI Qing LI ... White dog's male owner
Suyun Li Suyun Li ... Bu's mother
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Storyline

In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find themselves. Among them is schoolboy Bu, on the run after pushing Shuai down the stairs, who was bullying him previously. Bu's classmate Ling has run away from her mother and fallen for the charms of her teacher. Shuai's older brother Cheng feels responsible for the suicide of a friend. And finally, along with many other characters whose fates are inextricably bound together, there's Mr. Wang, a sprightly pensioner whose son wants to offload him onto a home. In virtuoso visual compositions, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

8 March 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Elephant Sitting Still See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dongchun Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1 Digital)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

After finishing the movie, Hu Bo tragically committed suicide in October 2017 at the age of 29. This makes "An Elephant Sitting Still" his first and also his last feature film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Yu Cheng: He told me the other day. There is an elephant in Manzhouli. It sits there all day long. Perhaps some people keep stabbing it with forks. Or maybe it just enjoys sitting there. I don't know.
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User Reviews

 
Nietzsche would have smiled at this film.
2 November 2018 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

There are several reasons why you will not forget this film if you have had the patience to sit through the 4 hours of its slow running time. One of them will be to wonder if the long film was worth your while.

The director Bo Hu only made this feature film in his entire life before he committed suicide at age 29. The film is based on his book that he wrote under a pen-name. With a book and a feature film to his credit, Bo Hu evidently still felt trapped.

All the characters are innocent but nihilistic to the core caught within China's social "no-win" trap if you are not rich or have political connections. Nietzsche would have smiled at this film. There is no way out. Yet they hope optimistically for a better life. It is a curious film that ends up with stupid violent scenes as some recent award-winning films from China have. Nothing positive to take away here after 4 hours. The concept of the elephant sitting still is possibly positive, which is why four adults want to metaphorically see it. One positive takeaway in the indirect commentary on China today, rarely discussed in the media.


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