I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi)


I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 5


Audience Score

User Ratings: 190
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Movie Info

Filmmaker Jia Zhangke offers a personal look into the history of Shanghai, one of China's most exciting and diverse cities, in this documentary. While Shanghai is a city of no small historical importance in China, in Haishang Chuanqi (aka I Wish I Knew) the focus is less on the facts of the city's legacy than the stories of the people who have lived there and how their lives have been shaped by its history. Those interviewed by director Zhangke include people whose parents fell victim to the violence during the rise of communism, others who fled the country during the revolution, and those who were witnesses to the Sino-Japanese War and the Cultural Revolution. Zhangke also examines how Shanghai's history has been depicted in the Chinese cinema, illustrated by clips from a number of Chinese historical epics, as well as the stories behind some of China's great films of the past. I Wish I Knew was originally produced as part of the Shanghai World Expo; when the project went over schedule, it instead received its world premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi)

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (5)

  • The poignant historical ironies of the Chinese director Jia Zhangke's documentary, commissioned by last year's Shanghai World Expo, begin with the title...

    Feb 22, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The pacing is steady. The stories are told simply, with zero affectation or buildup by the director. The effect is astonishing.

    Sep 15, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • I Wish I knew is a rich, multi-faceted city film that challenges viewers to make sense of the various scraps that the filmmaker artfully arranges for our consideration.

    Feb 15, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The film works like a sort of fast-forward of the city's past over the last 75 years, and in addition to the wealth of cultural and historical detail, there are things in the film that seem to welcome contemporary political interpretation.

    Nov 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi)

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