CINEMASIA PRESENTS AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL
CinemAsia presents the Dutch premiere of An Elephant Sitting Still by director Bo Hu in LAB 111 as part of their festival.
Over the course of a single day, the paths of four people – a bullied boy, a teenage girl in a war-like relationship with her mother, a pensioner kicked out by his children and a local hoodlum racked with guilt over the suicide of his friend – cross in fateful ways. They yearn to visit the distant town of Manzhouli, where legends say an elephant sits motionless, blind to the ways of the world.
After impressing China’s literary circle with his novels, Hu Bo made a stunning directorial debut with this mesmerising epic about the desperation and the malaise of small-town life in northern China. Shot in masterful roaming long takes that recall the works of Hu’s idol, Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr, Elephant is a nihilistic yet wistful drama instantly recognised as a masterpiece by critics and film buffs when it won the Fipresci Prize at the Berlinale. It went on to beat Zhang Yimou’s Shadow to win Best Film at the Golden Horse Awards, the greatest honour in Chinese cinema. Unfortunately, the world will never know how much more Hu could achieve – the 27-year old filmmaker committed suicide in October 2017.
As our way of paying tribute to this great talent, CinemAsia will donate a portion of the film’s ticket proceeds to Hu’s parents.