Once he works hard and earns enough to buy the bicycle, his commission share will jump to 50%. They eventually decide to share the bicycle, alternating the days on who can use it. This frustrates Jian, who steals some money from his family and pays 500 yuan to a second-hand dealer for a bicycle—the one that used to belong to Guei. Copyright © 2000-2020. Chinese Film Final Hook: Two men walk into a store. Even the poorest of poor people have access to toothpaste and insist on brushing their teeth incessantly—almost as if doing so elevates their social status and makes them appear more urban and “civilized.” Guei assimilates into city life, undergoes a transformation process learning how to deal with revolving doors and smoking cigarettes, and a rather apt distinction is embodied by the characteristics of the city poor versus the city rich. Personality Test: My Personal Experience In The Workplace And Home, The Negative Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451, By Ray Bradbury.

The bikes are the brainchild of Dutch designer and artist Daan Roosegaarde, who has signed a partnership with Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo to develop the bikes in Beijing.

Owning the bicycle confirms his sense of self and sense of status within his circle of friends. Rousing bicycle-race tale has some profanity, mild violence. All rights reserved.

If you chose to provide an email address, it will only be used to contact you about your comment. Guo Liangui is 19 years old and has just arrived from the Chinese countryside to find a job in Beijing. Screen Analysis Realism in European and World Cinema: Beijing Bicycle and Bicycle Thieves To define realism in its purest form one immediately turns to the dictionary; “the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly”. An identity crisis ensues from which one may extrapolate the whole of China is suffering—an alleged communist society practicing capitalism and plastering advertisements on any available space eyes may glance at as a mere boy navigates its streets absolutely full of people who care more about money than morality. Guei searches tirelessly for it throughout the entire city. He embarks on daily journeys riding through the many twisted and bustling streets of Beijing while trying to fit in with its native inhabitants. While Guei appreciates his bicycle and respects its value as a tool needed in order to perform his job; Jian, a city boy, exploits the bicycle mercilessly as a status symbol that puts him above all others even though he himself is from a poor family at the bottom of the city.
Drenched in irony, the film resembles modern China—a prosperous nation where people living in cities with populations exceeding millions can be left isolated and alone to fend for themselves in dark, dank corners due to a failure to adapt to China’s industrialization, globalization, and modernization. Click here to see the rest of this review. BEIJING BICYCLE (Wang Xiaoshuais, 2001) ... On the surface, it seems a kindness when the boss rehires Guei once Guei has found and confiscated the bicycle. We're updating our reviews to better highlight authentic stories and accurate, diverse representations. But she isn’t as rich and glamorous as she seems. Guei is a new migrant who has come to the city with hopes for better income. Throughout most of the movie Guei and Jian are at extreme odds with each other. Country folk resemble “the little engine that could” when compared to the city dwellers who come off as arrogant, wasteful, and condescending. For navigating the congested metropolitan highways or the impoverished back alley districts, their widespread utility in burgeoning urban China is visually unmistakable. Jian and Guei make off together but are cornered by Da Huan and his gang, who give both of them a serious beating.
The characters Guei and Jian individually struggle to navigate this uncertain landscape. See something that needs to be addressed? © 2020 Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History, Online ISSN 2163-8551. The film stars first-time actors Cui Lin and Li Bin, supported by the already established actresses Zhou Xun and Gao Yuanyuan. Big business and commercialization have uprooted certain simple notions of interpersonal relations. However, when Guei shows up at the courier company on another day, he finds Jian and his gang waiting for him. Originally intended merely for transportation, the Beijing bicycle turns into a symbol of identity for Guei and Jian as disenfranchised Chinese youth. Searching for streaming and purchasing options ... Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. According to Elizabeth Wright of Senses of Cinema, the juxtaposition of Guei and Jian, in particular their contrasting relation to the bicycle, highlights their differences in social standing and status. All rights reserved. You too can have the car, the apartment, the respect” (Rob Gifford, China Road, 192).

They realize she was just a servant for a wealthy family and enjoyed trying on clothes she could never actually afford. “You must never get tired of riding this,” he says in awe of the sleek chrome finish and cutting edge gear controls. The opportunity is there but not everyone can grasp it. He unknowingly purchases Guei's stolen bike. Wang Xiaoshuai’s Beijing Bicycle is a story of a young man named Guei trying to make his way to make a living in the big city while living in the country. [7][8][9][10], The film board of the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television decided to ban the screening of Beijing Bicycle in China after the film was sent to the Berlin International Film Festival without first acquiring the board's approval. Lastly, the third essay places these characters’ experiences within the context of China’s ambitious policies to shed light on the overall cost to citizens. Great tale of two boys' struggle over a bicycle. He hopes to pursue a career in the Intelligence Community or Office of Foreign Service. City people seem to operate and exist solely to pursue wealth and money, and in fact equate their very happiness to the amount of money they have and possessions they own. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. However, like all material objects, demand is often unlimited while supply is very limited.

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