A shatteringly intense docu-drama chronicling episodes in the breakdown of the Li family in present-day Beijing. The central problem is the father, Li Maojie, a former dancer who's declined into alcoholism and violence since stiffening joints forced him to retire. Both his sons hate him, partly because they're afraid they'll take after him; they're slackers, on the fringes of the city's underground rock scene. Seeing something universal in their problems - especially the mutual withholding of love - Zhang has the family re-enact its own domestic strife for the camera. Made with palpable warmth and affection for its characters, the film provides the most credible account of street-level realities in China's cities yet seen.
Cast and crew