Time Out says

Diao has written several scripts and acted in All Tomorrow's Parties, but this debut feature (made underground in Xi'an) suggests that he's a born director. A young man with no prospects begins impersonating a cop, which not only brings in useful income from bribes but also gives him the confidence to start dating the girl from the pirated CD shop - little suspecting that she, too, is leading a double life. It sounds like Gogol-style satire but Diao shoots it as social realism, maintaining enough distance to give it an edge of wry humour. He also has a fine, surrealist eye for visual incongruities, such as the large mirror perched on a rooftop to reflect healing sunlight down to the protagonist's ailing father. Jia Zhangke and Yu Lik-Wai are thanked as 'artistic advisors'. Probably no one involved realised that the plot echoes a classic of the old Shanghai film industry, Huang Zuolin's Phoney Phoenixes (1947).


Release details

94 mins

Cast and crew

Diao Yinan
Diao Yinan
Liang Hongli
Zeng Xueqiong
Han Kai
Qin Hua
Wang Jijun