Xiao Wu


China, Hong Kong | 1998 | Color | 105 min | Jia Zhangke



Director: Jia Zhangke

Screenplay: Jia Zhangke

Producer: Jia Zhangke, Kit Ming Li
Cinematography: Nelson Yu
Editing: Xiao Ling Yu

Sound: Yang Zhang

Production Company: Beijing Film Academy, Hu Tong Communications, Radiant Advertising Company

Cast: Wang Hongwei, Hao Hongjian, Zuo Baiato, Ma Jinrei, Liang Youghao, Liu Junying

Sinopsis / Synopsis:

Jia Zhangke’s debut film tells the story of pickpocket Xiao Wu, who drifts aimlessly through the streets of the poor and dirty small town of Fenyang. He tries to hide his insecurity and lack of prospects behind a pair of big glasses and a cool demeanour but is increasingly losing his footing. The world of his youth is coming to an end: the local authorities have hardened the punishments for petty crimes; His former friend Xiao Yong doesn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. Times have changed and even though there are promises of a better future, Xiao Wu seems condemned to an eternal solitude and social ostracism.

Biografía / Biography:

Jia Zhangke (1970, China) is a director, screenwriter and producer. He grew up in Fenyang, Shanxi province. He graduated from the film academy in Beijing in 1997. His first feature, Pickpocket (1998), won him awards at film festivals in Berlin, Pusan, Vancouver and others. With films like Platform (2000) and Still Life (2006) he became a prominent figure in the film scene, both in China and the rest of the world. Many of his films have been shown at renowned film festivals such as Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastián and New York among others. Still Life  won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2006, A Touch Of Sin won the Best Screenplay prize in Cannes in 2013 and Mountains May Depart and Ash Is Purest White were in competition in Cannes 2015 and 2018. In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Coach to honour his entire body of work. Jia is at the forefront of China’s indie cinema. His films often blur the line between fiction and documentary.

Festivales / Festivals:

Berlin International Film Festival –Netpac Award– 1998, Germany

Locarno International Film Festival, 2009, Switzerland

International Film Festival Rotterdam, 1999, The Netherlands

BFI London Film Festival, 1998, UK

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with MK2 and in collaboration with Jia Zhangke. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.