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 »
Inspired by real events, five friends struggle to cope with their frustrations and are compelled to violence as Weltstadt, a once-popular tourist spot, falls onto hard times following the reunification of Germany.
A psychiatrist and his blind girlfriend, bound by sinister interest. A school doctor, who lost more than work with her dismissal. Her brother, who will do everything for her. A desperate ... See full summary »
Sarah Victoria Frick,
Becky, Maik and Tommi, a group of right-wing radical youths, aim to establish a terrorist cell in Germany. Seeking national attention, they commit a range of escalating crimes whilst facing disorientation and their appetite for murder.
Martha is in a happy relationship with Paul. She shares her life with him, and she trusts him and feels she knows him inside out. But one day two policewomen appear at her door and suddenly... See full summary »
When the brilliant but sexually inexperienced computer science student PIET is turned down by bright and beautiful KLARA, he is deeply hurt. He takes a dose of a sleep medication, leading ... See full summary »
Linus de Paoli
Adam Ild Rohweder,
On the stage of her high school drama class 17-year-old Sarah gives it all. When she performs, there is an instant of suspense in which she appears to transform completely into her ... See full summary »
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.
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 »
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.
See more »
Few debuts are this good. Throughout four hours, Hu Bei creates an overwhelminly human and sensitive film, creating characters to which we deeply sympathise and connect with. The more the film moves long, the more impactful it becomes, and soon enough even the smallest actions, the most simple scenes become huge, due to the sheer emotional investment the spectator has. This works mostly for these reasons: Bei's camera, which is always close to the characters, following them in long, some times astonishing shots; the actors, all of them astounding; the long running time, which gives time not just to explore each character, but also for the viewer to just spend time with these people, who we love to care about so deeply. Melancholic but not sad, deeply moving but never sentimental, An Elephant Sitting Still doesn't feel bigger than life: it feels like life, period. To call it a masterpiece would be an understatement.
26 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this