Beijing za zhong (Beijing Bastards) (1994)
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This is a temporary rating, since I did not watch this film in an appropriate condition (watched with a probably-Taiwanese low quality copy). I have never seen or heard of a legal DVD or VCR copy of this film has ever been in store because of the very complicated background of the film. This film, directed by Youn Zhang, is historically very important piece as one of the first films produced independently and by the 6th generation of Chinese directors (Yimou Zhang, Kaige Chan, etc. are the 5th generation). The government, however, banned the film because of its socially controversial theme and shooting without permission in central Beijing and never allowed to show it domestically. Beijing Bastards is an important film not only in terms of its value as a record but also as a Chinese film which has completely new style (strongly influenced by Italian New Realism and French New Wave as other the 6th generation directors also are) which blurs the borderline of fiction and documentary. It is also valuable, for it catches the air of Beijing city of a certain period of time (early 90s) really well with featuring newborn Chinese rock'n'roll music. The legendary Chinese Rock singer, Jian Cui, produces and performs live shows in the film. Although his appearance is not related to the story, which is mainly about few young people in Beijing struggling to settle down, lyrics and melodies of his songs hightens the mood of sorrow and melancholia that the young in the city have. The live sequence, however, lacks strength, and the attempt to get rid of mainstream storytelling and acting is not really successful in the film, and it often confuses audiences, although it is probably because I am not Chinese. What is common in films by the 6yth generation directors is that they are sincerely trying to record and deal with the reality, mostly the dark side of it, and thus, they are very for Chinese people to watch. They are films by and for Chinese people. It is sad to see the government keeping banning these films. Hope somebody will restore and release this film as soon as possible.
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