Lost in Beijing
Photos and Video
China's fast-growing economy has been much discussed in recent years, and has certainly not escaped the attention of its filmmakers as seen in director-writer Li Yu's follow-up to her award-winning Dam Street. This new film features Ping Guo, a young woman, and one of the many immigrants struggling to establish themselves in bustling Beijing. This ever-changing society is epitomized by nouveauriche businessman Lin Dong, owner of the Gold Basin Foot Massage Palace, and Ping Guo's boss. The two worlds collide when Ping Guo is raped by her boss at work, while her window-cleaner husband, An Kun, witnesses the act. Although this somewhat ambiguous scene passed strict Chinese censorship, it is not without repercussions for the main characters. Ping Guo becomes pregnant and An Kun decides to blackmail Lin Dong for the rape of his wife. Lin Dong, married to the barren Weng Mei and desperate for a child, agrees to pay An Kun the money, provided he receives proof that the child is his. What follows is a tragicomic social tale that explores the relationship between an old China-a country of traditional values and familial relations-against the emergence of a new value system instilled by an increasingly materialistic society. Li Yu's decision to use four of the top names in Asian cinema (including veterans Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Elaine Jin) pays off as she expertly weaves the storyline into each character's personal experience of being lost in Beijing.
Director's Statement Collapse
In autumn 2005 I was at the Toronto International Film Fesitval presenting my last film DAM STREET with the producer Fang Li. Sitting in a roadside cafe and looking at life in Toronto between screenings, we started chatting about China and about our city, Beijing. We were moved by the fast changes in our country and the enw immigrants flooding into Beijing. All kinds of temptations and desires are suddenly appearing in people's daily lives with the emergence of new social relations, a new value system, new moral standards and lost souls...While we were talking about various scary stories in the newspapers and magazines. Mr. Fang and I both decided we should make a film about the problems and challenges facing Chinese people today in such a fast-growing economy. We immediately started discussing ideas and possibilites...Soon after, the story LOST IN BEIJING came to us...
Film Information Collapse
[BEIJI] | 2006 | 112 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Ping Guo)
Premiere: North American
About the Director(s)Collapse
Born in 1973 in Sahandong Province in China, LI YU began working as a television presenter at a local television station at the age of 16. After moving to Beijing, she continued to work in television and began making documentaries. After devising a documentary series, Life Space, for the national state channel CCTV, she directed numerous contributions. She took up screenplay and short story writing and, in 2000, she made her feature film debut, Jin nian xia tian.