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An Elephant Sitting Still
Over the course of a single, suspenseful day, the troubled lives of four desperate people unfold in this resonant film about the human condition — director Hu Bo’s first and, tragically, final feature.
Director: Hu Bo
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 disparate protagonists of this film; a schoolboy, his elderly neighbour, his troubled classmate and the school bully's brother.
In virtuoso visual compositions, punctuated by silences and sudden outbursts of violence, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart. This electrifying directorial debut from Hu Bo, whose novels already caused a sensation in China, is a four-hour portrait of a society of egoists. Tragically, it will also be the final chapter in his legacy. On October 12, 2017, the artist took his own life at age 29.