Chinese artist Xu Bing compiled his directorial debut from thousands of hours of footage from security cameras. With poet Zhai Yongming and screenwriter Zhang Hanyi he weaves a story involving two characters around these images. The young woman, Qing Ting (her name means ‘dragonfly’), leaves a Buddhist monastery and moves to the city. There she meets Ke Fan, and an intense friendship evolves. Will it become more than that?
Many asides are presented through security and dash cam footage – by turns frightening, poetic and mundane. For example, a girl is so immersed in her telephone that she doesn’t realise she’s walking straight towards a pond. A cow also clambers out of a moving truck, then stands somewhat lost in the middle of the motorway.
In this non-fiction version of The Truman Show, everyone is an actor without knowing it, and Bing delivers a commentary on (in)visibility, our obsessive media culture and contemporary China.