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The World (Shijie)

The World (Shijie) (2005)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 12

Though perhaps too slowly paced and long, The World offers an intriguing glimpse into China's modernization and the growing ennui of some of its people.


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 3

Though perhaps too slowly paced and long, The World offers an intriguing glimpse into China's modernization and the growing ennui of some of its people.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,713

My Rating

Movie Info

A young dancer, her security-guard boyfriend and others work at World Park, a bizarre cross-pollination of Las Vegas and Epcot Center where visitors can interact with famous international monuments without ever leaving the Bejing suburbs. Daily lavish shows are performed amongst replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, St. Mark's Square, Big Ben, the Pyramids and even the Twin Towers. But working beyond the kitsch potential, 'The World' casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves,


Art House & International, Drama

Zhang Ke Jia

Feb 14, 2006

Zeitgeist Films - Official Site External Icon

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December 22, 2005:
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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (12) | DVD (7)

A tonally flat experience. The movie's highs and lows are modulated to the point where nothing moves you or touches you in these lives of not-desperate-enough desperation.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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It's a heartbreaking, beautiful movie that gains strength from its deep characterizations.

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Its rewards come with patience and concentration.

September 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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It has a romantic power that seeps into your bones, with its languid rhythms, general plotlessness, and fierce attention to surreal detail.

August 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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The World has a lot to say and is not in any unholy rush to say it.

August 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Jia's most extraordinary mapping isn't of an external landscape, but an emotional one. Without ever leaving Beijing, he shows us an entire universe of human joy, frailty and sorrow.

August 18, 2005 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Gives one a rough idea about the Chinese Dream through its modern day landscape and relating the new China to the hopes and aspirations of its young citizens.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The World feels too small in scope--ironic considering its title.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The World is less a condemnation of the current state of the world than an attempt to explain and come to terms with it.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinematic Reflections

Beyond the novelty of the setting -- which isn't even that novel when you have something similar a few exits south -- there's just not enough going on.

October 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Easily one of the year's best films.

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

... an inspired metaphor for the strange new world of modern China in the global economy.

September 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The World steeps the viewer in a culture that clings to traditional conventions but must...embrace the mores of the high-tech, fast paced world....

August 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Jia has a passion for long-held shots that probe both character and institutional contradictions without mercy. But with some compassion and much dry wit.

August 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Even with his observational style, Zhangke's film compels

August 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Outside the borders of their meticulously-structured fandango is just more of the same, but unmoored and drifting.

July 14, 2005
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for The World (Shijie)

a unique vision of 'the world' as a theme park in beijing and the mundane lives of the workers there. a gorgeous looking film with surprise animated sequences
December 5, 2012
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Definitely worth watching for its' absolutely stunning cinematography. The film takes place almost entirely inside a 114-acre theme park, World Park, on the outskirts of Beijing. The park contains 1/3 scaled replicas of internationally renowned buildings and sites, including the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, London Bridge, etc.

A slow-paced melodrama of contemporary Chinese society, with something to say about the growing uniformity of our world.

July 12, 2009
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

An unfortunately average portrayal of how a culture interprets the rest of the world and adapts to it.
March 31, 2008

Super Reviewer

A very dull and boring movie. I know it is supposed to show the bleakness of contemporary urban Chinese live in an oppositional context to the "World" (which is a large Disney Worldesque theme park). But personally, I think it utterly fills. There are many moments of silence, but they are not filled with despair or sadness but are just empty. One should not mistake silence and lowkey direction for deepness. There are many movies succesfully portraying dystopian societies (think Shane Meadows, De Sica etc.), but this is not one of them. Stay away.
January 20, 2009

Super Reviewer

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