Walking on the Wild Side

  • 89'
  • China
  • 2006
Han Jie is growing up in the Northwest Chinese province of Shanxi. In 1992, when he is 12 years old, the area comes under the influence of the market economy. Small coal mines spring up like mushrooms. Most of the mines are private operations without official licences and pay little regard to the necessary safety measures. The streets of the town where Han spent his adolescence slowly but surely become greyer, thanks to the dust that chokes the air. The lawlessness surrounding the mines also grips the secondary school he attends. A gang of youths led by a certain Xiaosi does its everyday rounds and young Han Jie is a favourite victim. He does not dare use the knife he keeps in his pocket. It is his cousin Xiping who eventually teaches Xiaosi and his Gang of Four Stars a lesson, but then he has to flee. The harsh reality that follows places a heavy burden on their sworn friendship. Han portrays these personal experiences in his first full-length and authentic feature film. Walking on the Wild Side is about the fear of growing up and bearing responsibility. The three youths who swear to be eternally faithful to each other in his film and dream of a better future eventually have to put up with a life that does not transcend the misery of their parents' existence. (SdH)
Director
Han Jie
Premiere
World première
Countries of production
China, France
Production Year
2006
Festival Edition
IFFR 2006
Length
89'
Medium
35mm
International title
Lai xiao zi
Language
Mandarin
Producers
Courage mon Amour, Mr. Han Jie, Les Petites Lumières, Jia Zhangke, Natacha Devillers
Sales
Mr. Han Jie
Screenplay
Han Jie
Cinematography
Xu Wei, Li Hong Jian
Editor
Zhang Yifan
Production Design
Liu Qiang
Sound Design
Bei Bei, Chan Ting
Music
Sheng Zi
Cast
Lu Jie, Bai Paijiang