An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo) (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo) (2018)

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Movie Info

Under the gloomy sky of a small town in northern China, different protagonists' lives are intertwined in this furious tale of nihilistic rage. While protecting his friend from a dangerous school bully, 16-year-old WEI Bu pushes the tormentor down a staircase. WEI escapes the scene and later learns that the bully is hospitalized and gravely injured. WEI's neighbor, the 60-year-old WANG Jin, is estranged from his family and, with nothing to lose, decides to join him. Later the pair is joined by HUANG Ling, WEI's classmate. She is bedeviled by a destructive affair with a married school official. Together, this unlikely and desperate trio, decide their only hope is to flee as the bully's gangster brother, enraged parents, and vindictive school authorities embark on a cold-blooded hunt for WEI across town. As WEI threads his way through the urban wilderness, he begins to come to terms with his own lost life. In the end, he boards a long-distance bus with HUANG and WANG toward a city in Manchuria, where it is a rumored that a circus elephant is said to be sitting still, seemingly oblivious to pain and tribulations of the world at large.

Cast

Critic Reviews for An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Long and a bit unwieldy, and self-consciously philosophical in parts, yes, but Hu's first (and sadly last) feature weaves together its narrative threads clearly and sturdily.

February 26, 2018 | Full Review…

While the hypnotic pace of An Elephant Sitting Still hardly ever falters, the thinly stretched plotline leaves ample space for philosophical introspection, some of which, one suspects, gets lost in translation.

September 11, 2018 | Full Review…

For a first-time director, the confidence and proficiency of Hu's cinematic expression astonishes.

July 10, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Assembles its parts in such an assured and astute way that changing even one element seems unthinkable.

April 9, 2018 | Full Review…

This is a sprawling but strangely hardscrabble epic that has a very digital look. Nevertheless, Hu and cinematographer Fan Chao use the whole screen, capturing some strikingly scarred urban vistas and playing games with depth of focus for effect.

March 30, 2018 | Full Review…

Unrelenting as its tone may be, the feature proves a delicately layered, deftly shot work that makes an incisive statement about the prevalence of apathy, arrogance and egotism in contemporary China and beyond.

March 29, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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