Beijing bicycle (Shiqi sui de dan che)
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Guo Liangui (Lin Cui) has left his village behind and has come to the city, to Beijing, with great expectations. It takes some time, however, before he finds himself a job as a bicycle courier, earning ten Yuan for each trip. He is motivated by being able to make enough money to own the silver mountain bike he uses for his job and therefore puts up with even the rudest, most demanding customers. All his hard work is about to pay off: he's saved 600 Yuan for the bike and is ready to buy it. That is until it all goes wrong and the bike goes missing. It has been sold in a flea market so Guo has to fight to get it back, or at least compromise...
Persons of interest
- Lin Cui .... Guo Liangui
- Bin Li .... Jian
- Xun Zhou .... Qin
- Yuanyuan Gao .... Xiao
- Shuang Li .... Da Huan
- Yiwei Zhao .... Father
- Yan Pang .... Mother
- Fangfei Zhou .... Rongrong
- Jian Xie .... Manager
- Yuhong Ma .... Accountant
- Lei Liu .... Mantis
- Mengnan Li .... Qiu Sheng
- Peggy Chiao .... Screenwriter
- Hsiao-Ming Hsu .... Screenwriter
- Danian Tang .... Screenwriter
- Xiaoshuai Wang .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Berlin International Film Festival 2001: Silver Bear, Piper Hiedsieck new talent award for best young actor (Bin Li & Lin Cui)
- Cambridge Film Festival 2001: Screening
- Chonju Film Festival 2001: Best film
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2001: Screening
- Pusan Film Festival 1999: Screening
- Silk Screen
- Singapore Film Festival 2001: Screening
- Cinematic Intelligence Agency Trenchcoat Awards 2003
- NB: Mandarin language dialogue with English language subtitles
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
You never had it so good.
Following on from the immense poverty you saw in Not one less and The road home, Beijing bicycle shows you in graphic terms just how little the urban peasantry earns in modern China. A month's wages to buy a bicycle at the wholesale rate... aren't you glad you live in a capito-socialist democracy?
Lin and Bin make terrific antagonists, representing not only two sides of ownership but everything that is distorted about modern China. East is meeting West and West is winning. Traditional Chinese values of family and honour are being swept aside by the demands of capitalism and the desires of the nouveau riche. Education is becoming as fraught with stress for Chinese children as it is for Japanese children. As the boys' characters cycle (no pun intended) through joy, loss and despair every gram of emotion is writ plain on the screen. What's more, you aren't allowed to separate them into the good Chinese peasant and the bad westernised urbanite: they are both innocents in a world that has nothing but harsh lessons to teach them.
No-one ever said that life is easy.
If you treat yourself to a screening of Beijing bicycle you'll enjoy a twisting, winding plot that has none of the clichés of Hollywood. You will have to pay attention to get the best out of it.
No-one ever said the the cinema is easy.
Media intelligence (DVD)
- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Trailers: Theatrical and bonus
- Languages: English, Chinese
- Picture: Widescreen (1.85:1/16:9 Enhanced)
- Subtitles: English
Security censorship classification
M (Low level violence)
113 minutes (1:52 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 7 February 2002
DVD rental: 18 September 2002
VHS rental: 18 September 2002