BEIJING BICYCLE

MATERIALS

WANG XIAOSHUAI

ORIGINAL TITLE

Shiqi sui de dan che

2001 || Taiwan-China || 113 mins || 35mm || Color || Feature

FESTIVALS / AWARDS

BERLIN 2001 - Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, Best New Actor (shared Lin Cui & Bin Li)

SYNOPSIS

Contemporary Beijing.  Guei has just arrived from his small village in the provinces.  He finally finds a job as a delivery boy and is paid 10 yuans per trip. When he has earned 600 yuans, he will be able to buy the loaned silver mountain bike which he has become very fond of.  So Guei puts up with his customers’ grumbles and concentrates on working hard.
Just when Guei has almost finished paying for his bicycle, it disappears. He runs all over Beijing in search of his bicycle. He eventually spots a young man riding his silver bike. Jian, the new rider, claims to have bought the bicycle at the flea market.  Guei needs to get his bicycle back. The two men will just have to learn to share …

PRESS QUOTES

A well-honed and often diverting Chinese riff on “The Bicycle Thief”...Film takes only the basic premise of Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 neo-realist classic – a bicycle as the vital component of one’s livelihood, which is then stolen – and initially relocates the idea in a convincing way in modern Beijing... Crisply shot in the back streets, thoroughfares and untouristy nabes of sprawling Beijing... As the two protagonists, both Cui and Li are well cast and handle their dialogue-light roles with conviction...
Derek Elley, VARIETY

Most elevated cinema of great moral and artistic reach...
Angel Fernandez-Santos, EL PAIS (Spain)

An astonishing two-hour work of peddling, fighting, hoping, dreaming and suffering... Original, funny and sad situations are plentiful ...Watching these big city youths – whether performing cycling acrobatics, or in arcades or on wild suspenseful chases – the spectator gets an idea of China’s unstoppable changes...
Dieter Strunz, BERLINER MORGENPOST (Germany)