The Chinese Cinema Project presents Hu Bo's stunning An Elephant Sitting Still.
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 Bu, on the run after pushing school bully Shuai down the stairs. 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 into a nursing 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.
The first and only feature film by the novelist-turned-director Hu, who died tragically soon after he finished the film, on 12 October 2017 at the age of 29. Read the Sight & Sound review written by Tony Rayns, which appears on British Film Institute website.
This film is shown in tandem with the UK premiere of Hu Bo’s shorts collection and is part of the exhibition initiative Chinese Cinema Project presented by Plus One Films and supported by The Garden Cinema. It aims to showcase works from emerging and under-presented Chinese filmmakers via regular screenings.
Additional revenue from the donation ticket price goes directly to the Chinese Cinema Project to support future screenings.
Yuchang Peng, Yu Zhang, Uvin Wang