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55th San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

Saturday, April 21, 2012
8:30 p.m. People Mountain People Sea
Cai Shangjun (Hong Kong/China, 2011)

(Ren shan ren hai). A sort of horror film where the terror stems as much from the crushing despair and pervasive corruption of working-class China as from the murder at the center of its plot, People Mountain People Sea is a story of vengeance set in China’s wild Southwest, where brutality can be the norm rather than the exception. Director Cai Shangjun expertly modulates the film’s growing dread and wretchedness with carefully choreographed long takes and stunning cinemascope vistas. Applying the austere observational style and sociological preoccupations of Jia Zhangke to a storyline that might suit an adrenaline-fueled Park Chan-wook film, Cai’s second feature is a disturbing glimpse into the dark heart of Southwest China’s industrial revolution.

—Jesse Dubus

• Written by Gu Xiaobai, Cai, Gu Zheng. Photographed by Dong Jinsong. With Chen Jianbin, Tao Hong, Wu Xiubo. (91 mins)



Tickets on sale March 30. Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount online by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Buy Tickets



Advance tickets March 27–30. BAM/PFA members may purchase advance tickets online between March 27 and 30 by clicking the link below and entering a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Purchase Advance Member Tickets