In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli they say there is an elephant that simply sits still and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of the film, a longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find themselves. Among them is schoolboy Wei Bu (Peng Yuchang), on the run after accidentally pushing classmate Yu Shuai down the stairs, who was bullying him previously. Wei Bu's classmate Huang Ling (Wang Yuwen) has run away from her mother and fallen for the charms of the school's deputy dean. Yu Shuai's older brother, Yu Cheng (Zhang Yu), feels responsible for the suicide of a friend after sleeping with his wife. Wang Jin (Liu Congxi) is a sprightly pensioner whose daughter and son-in-law wants to offload him onto a nursing home. In virtuoso visual compositions, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart.
The film is written, directed and edited by Hu Bo. It is also the first and last film of the novelist-turned-director Hu, who committed suicide soon after finishing his film on 12 October 2017 at the age of 29, it is based on a story with the same title from his 2017 novel Huge Crack .
Please notice the film is nearly 4 hours long. There will be an interval.
dir: Hu Bo
run-time: 234 mins
£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)
Doors 17:00 - Film 18:00