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

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




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.


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

All Critics (13) | 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…

An uncompromising masterpiece. One of the films of the year.

December 10, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Sure, it's packed full of sorrow and several generations of people who have lost hope, but it captures the enduring sadness with such beauty and in such a skilful and imaginative manner it's difficult to write it off as pure miserabilism.

December 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As remorselessly bleak as it is inexplicably transfixing as it looks at the state of relentless torment and unsuppressed rage exists between the age, gender and class divisions in the film's hopelessly fragmented community.

October 16, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

A well told yarn within a tightly synchronized day that changes the lives of a multitude.

October 7, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The last shot [is], one of the most beautiful in recent cinema. [Full review in Spanish]

September 27, 2018 | Full Review…

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