Education About Asia: Online Archives

Beijing Bicycle

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One of a number of recent Chinese films with applications for the pre-collegiate classroom, Wang Xiaoshuai’s Beijing Bicycle follows the intersecting stories of Guei, a naïve, taciturn young man who has recently arrived from the country, and his counterpart, Jian, a moody urban schoolboy from a blended family. Landing a job as a bicycle messenger, Guei is given the chance to earn his bicycle and glean a percentage of the delivery fees by meeting a certain delivery quota. The bicycle is stolen just as he is on the verge of attaining it. Facing termination from the company, Guei vows to recover his lost vehicle, a quixotic task that he pursues with dogged and ultimately self-destructive determination. His search for the bicycle and attempts to retrieve it constitute the central conflict in the film.