An Elephant Sitting Still
Language: Mandarin Country: China Year: 2018 Runtime: 234 Mins
Director: HU, Bo
Main Cast: ZHANG, Yu / PENG, Yuchang / WANG, Yuwen / LI, Congxi
To protect his friend, 16-year-old WEI Bu pushes the school bully down the staircase and escapes the scene after the bully becomes hospitalized with his life hanging by a thread. WEI’s neighbor, the 60-year-old WANG Jin, is estranged from his family and decides to join him. HUANG Ling, WEI’s classmate, is bedeviled by an affair with the school official. Together, the desperate three decide to flee as the wounded bully’s hooligan brother, the school authorities and the parents all go on a cold-blooded hunt for WEI across town. As WEI treads through the wilderness, he finally confronts his own reality. In the end, he boards a long-distance bus with HUANG and WANG toward Manchuria, where a circus elephant is said to be sitting still.
“He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought that the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.” This quote from Cormac McCarthy is also the subject of this film. In our age, it’s increasingly hard for us to have faith even in the tiniest of things, and the frustration from which becomes the hallmark of today’s society. The film builds up personal myths in between daily routines. In the end, everyone loses what he or she values the most.