Zeitgeist Films | The World
Jia Zhangke
Film Info
139 mins
In Mandarin and Shanxi dialect with English subtitles
Aspect ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
Sound: Dolby SR
Rating: Not Rated

Acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke (PLATFORM, UNKNOWN PLEASURES) casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves, friendships and desperate dreams of the twenty-somethings from China’s remote Provinces who come to live and work at Beijing’s World Park. A bizarre cross-cultural pollination of Las Vegas and Epcot Center, World Park features lavish shows performed amid scaled-down replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, St. Mark’s Square, the Pyramids and even the Twin Towers. From the sensational opening tracking shot of a young dancer’s backstage quest for a Band-Aid to poetic flourishes of animation and clever use of text-messaging, Jia pushes past the kitsch potential of this surreal setting—a real-life Beijing tourist destination. The Village Voice called Jia Zhangke “the world’s greatest filmmaker under forty,” and THE WORLD is his funniest, most inventive and touching work to date.


Watch a short interview with critic Jonathan Rosenbaum