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Tacky as can get: in Beijing’s South there is an amusement park which featrures Eiffel Tower and pyramids, New York’s skyline and Taj Mahal. All a bit smaller, all mostly populated by Chinese staff, but at your convenience, and without the arduous travel that is usually involved when you want to see the originals. Jia Zhangke’s film is not about the "attraction", but I guess he very successfully tricked the management into believing that it actually is, and tht this film would be like a free advertisement for their park. Hardly so: the film shows how ridiculous and fake this kind of amusement is, how sober and poor the lives of the singers and dancers and security guards that run the show, how dull this whole setting is and how culturally degenerated one must be to come up with that kind of rubbish as a prime capital attraction. In front of this tapestry of wicked taste, true live evolves, however, and the relationships between the people working and living in "the world" are as manyfold as they are all over the world, the real one out there, I mean: Love and jealousy, amibition  and despair, theft and death. After watching my second Jia Zhangke film in two days I am inclined to believe that the motif of his work could be "Just Life, take it or leave it". His films are very honest at that: they are real-life dramas in the best sense of the word, with dullness seeping into lifes and adding to the pain at times, and little joys being generously granted by fate at others. I could not tell what "happens" in the film, but – with all its weaknesses – it is very rewarding to watch and makes me look for more of Jia’s films.

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