AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL
Late filmmaker Hu Bo’s masterful debut is an intimate epic about four characters in various states of desperation whose paths intersect over the course of a single day.
When celebrated Chinese author and filmmaker Hu Bo took his own life in 2017 at the age of 29, he left behind one of the most jaw-dropping debut features in recent memory. Over the course of a single, eventful day, AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL follows four residents of a bleak, post-industrial city, all of whom are grappling with dire circumstances. Wei Bu (Peng Yuchang), is left reeling after critically injuring a bully at school. His classmate and crush Huang Ling (Wang Yuwen) has entered into a destructive affair with an older, married man, while elderly Mr. Wang (Liu Congxi) feels helpless when his family threatens to put him in a nursing home. And Yu Cheng (Zhang Yu) is tormented by his friend’s recent suicide. Each of the characters dreams about the mythical creature of the film’s title, which is said to be immune to the suffering of humanity. Though the tragic loss of its director looms large over AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL, Bo’s aesthetically ambitious and philosophically probing look at everyday suffering and transcendence deserves to be hailed as a masterpiece on its own terms.
CAST: Zhang Yu, Peng Yuchang, Wang Yuwen, Liu Congxi
In Competition: Best Narrative Feature, First Feature Award
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