Xiao Wu is a likeable but scummy petty criminal, lifting wallets from visitors to the provincial dirt town he calls home. Times are getting hard. His oldest friend, now a respected citizen, doesn't want to know him any more; the leggy girl from the karaoke hostess bar is stringing him along; and the cops are mounting an anti-crime campaign. This wonderful debut feature (like most decent Chinese films of the 1990s, it was made outside what remains of the studio system) takes an almost Bressonian path to the core of one man's psyche, stripping away layer after layer of his loser's armour until he's left as 'naked' as a person can be. Acted with absolute conviction by a cast of non-professionals and resourcefully shot by HK indie film-maker Yu Lik-Wai, this is an engrossing and moving achievement.
Cast and crew