Huang Jianxin has been getting away with the sharpest political satire in China ever since he made The Black Cannon Incident, largely because he leaves viewers free to draw their own conclusions about the absurd situations he explores in his movies. This time, he dissects a power struggle for control of a cultural centre: Wang (comedian Niu Zhenhua), its vice-president, assumes his political skills and connections make him a shoo-in for the top job, but the local cultural bureau chief has other ideas. This is a combination of darkish comedy with the appeal of an on-going soap opera. Its core is acid: here is a perfect microcosm of the way the political process works in China, with barely a whisper of exaggeration.
Huang Jianxin, Shun Yian, Huang Xin, Liu Xinglong
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