Global Lens Film Series: 'Beijing Flickers (You-Zhong)'
Beijing Flickers (You-Zhong)
Directed by Zhang Yuan China, 2012, 96 mins. In Mandarin with English subtitles
“Every day people disappear in this city. If I disappeared, would anyone come looking for me?” So muses San Bao, a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment, and the woman he loves (who’s left him for another, much richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has inexplicably run away from him.
Lovelorn, self-destructive, combative, and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city alone or with one or more of his handful of friends — all of them soulful and talented, if cash-poor, dreamers and misfits.
Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, droll, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequalities, and unfeeling ambition.
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