In China, the advent of affordable video cameras and ditto editing programs has made it easier to make video features about ordinary people and the underclass these days, produced with no budget but all the more authentic for this. Simple stories that can be regarded as a kind of barometer of changing norms and values and that report on the changing country with a theme reminiscent of 19th-century writers like Dickens and Dostoevsky. That also applies to the film Barbecue, based on a newspaper clipping. The word 'Barbecue' in Chinese can mean restless, anxious and suffering, adjectives that the director also regards as applying to the characters in his inevitable essay on the poor and poorer, love and lover, crime and criminal. Wang Quan and Liu Jinglei, who like so many others try to earn their living in Beijing with their hands, see the time of the Spring Festival approaching at high speed but don't have a penny to spend. They see the answer in kidnapping and blackmailing a prostitute; after all, she can't go to the police. So they order a call girl, He Dandan, and after having sex with her, they demand her money. But Dandan doesn't have any money either, so her family has to transfer some. In the meantime, Jinglei becomes increasingly fond of Dandan. She manages to persuade him to let her go. Wang Quan, however, has other ideas. (GT)

Original title
Shao kao
Filmmaker
Geng Jun
Premiere
-
Country
China
Year
2004
Medium
DV cam PAL
Length
85’
Language
Mandarin
Producer
Ermuchuanbo, Geng Jun
Sales
Ermuchuanbo
Writer
Geng Jun
Cinematography
Geng Jun
Editor
Geng Jun
Sound Design
Zhang Yi
Cast
Li Fang