Da xiang xi di er zuo

An Elephant Sitting Still
Hu Bo
China 2018

Dieser Film ist eine Bombe. Schon die erste Einstellung ist ebenso elektrisierend wie verstörend. Es sind jedoch nicht die spektakulären Ereignisse der Erzählung, die die Faszination dieses Films ausmachen, sondern eine durch und durch beunruhigende Grundstimmung der Unbehaustheit und der Gefahr. Sie durchzieht das Geschehen wie auch den Alltag der ProtagonistInnen und eskaliert in einzelnen, umso brutaleren Akten der Gewalt. Dem allem scheinen die Geschundenen gleichgültig gegenüberzustehen, doch unter der Oberfläche lodert ihre Verzweiflung. Sie lässt in uns, gebannt in unsere Kinosessel, eine Sehnsucht nach Frieden und Freiheit entstehen. (Katja Wiederspahn)


A film on helplessness and on the evidences of the world’s futility is not necessarily something that has to be suffered although it last almost four hours, as this one does. Hu Bo’s first feature brings together four characters bound together by tragic and yet plausible circumstances – a suicide, an accident, a robbery, and some other less dramatic issues. Some of them want to go to Manzhouli, a city innorthern China, to verify the existence of a mythical elephant who is indifferent to everything. The fact that a young 29-year-old film director committed suicide before finishing the film is congruent with the vision he had on all things, a clarity of vision shaded by the affection he shows towards his characters and the choices he makes in terms of staging the moments of violence (shown always out of screen). The prolonged time of the tale is harmoniously spread among the sequence shots he uses to register and narrate, thus revealing a laborious and precise kinetic criterion in space. Here, Hu Bo has achieved a film which owes a lot to Jia Zhangke’s XIAO WU and Wang Xiaoshuai’s BEIJING BICYCLE. Perhaps, he would have been a promising heir to the Sixth Generation, and his unexpected depart spoiled a possible reinvention of this tradition. (Roger Koza)

  • Zhang Yu - Yu Cheng
  • Peng Yuchang - Wei Bu
  • Wang Yuwen - Huang Ling
  • Liu Congxi - Wang Jin
  • Hu Bo
  • Bai Ruizhou
  • Fan Chao
  • Ren Yiming
  • Hua Lun
Related Movies