Close Up

10 - 30 December 2023: An Elephant Sitting Still


An Elephant Sitting Still
Hu Bo, 2018, 236 min

In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find themselves. Among them is Bu, on the run after pushing school bully Shuai down the stairs. Bu’s classmate Ling has run away from her mother and fallen for the charms of her teacher. Shuai’s older brother Cheng feels responsible for the suicide of a friend. And finally, along with many other characters whose fates are inextricably bound together, there’s Mr. Wang, a sprightly pensioner whose son wants to offload him into a nursing home. In virtuoso visual compositions, the film tells the story of one single suspenseful day from dawn to dusk, when the train to Manzhouli is set to depart. The first and only feature film by the novelist-turned-director Hu, who died tragically soon after he finished the film, at the age of 29.






An Elephant Sitting Still Sunday 10.12.23 3:30 pm Book
An Elephant Sitting Still Saturday 30.12.23 3:30 pm Book