Zhao is an ageing worker who toils away in Shenzen in order to earn a living. When his friend and colleague Wang suddenly dies, Zhao decides to transport his body back to his native town. He purchases two tickets for the cross-country bus, and pretends that his silent travelling companion has drunk so much alcohol that he has fallen unconscious. Shortly afterwards, the bus is attacked by armed bandits. Zhao asks the bandits to kill him first, so that he can stay with his dead friend forever. Touched by this display of loyalty, the robbers decide to let the bus go. But instead of thanking Zhao, the other passengers throw him and his dead friend off the bus. Pretending that his friend is seriously ill and must be taken to hospital immediately, Zhao tries to flag down passing cars. After spending the night in a hotel, Zhao discovers that all his money has been stolen and begins to lose heart. But he refuses to be browbeaten. Whenever he needs money, he rearranges Wong so that he looks like a beggar. And whenever he is hungry, he joins a funeral party and bawls his eyes out so that he can enjoy the food served at the wake. During his odyssey across China Zhao is obliged to get along with all kinds of people. Just before he reaches his destination, the old man and his dead friend are caught in a torrential downpour, so that now Zhao finds himself engaged in a struggle against nature. —Berlin International Film Festival
Zhang Yang (simplified Chinese: 张扬; traditional Chinese: 張揚; pinyin: Zhāng Yáng; born 1967) is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and occasional actor. He is the son of Zhang Huaxun, who is also a Chinese film director.
Zhang grew up in Beijing, studied until 1988 at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong, from which he graduated with a degree in Chinese literature, and then went to the Central Academy of Drama (中央戏剧学院), graduating in 1992.
Zhang Yang uses a realistic style, and achieved great recognition for his 1999 independent production Xizao (洗澡; English translation: Shower), which was successful at Chinese box offices as well as international film festivals. This was followed in 2001 by Zuotian (“Quitting” in its American release). The actors in this unusual story about a real actor, Jia Hongsheng, and his struggle with drug addiction are Jia himself, Jia’s parents, fellow inmates in a mental institution, the director, Zhang, and others playing themselves. The relationship… read more