The World (2160x1023)
The World (2160x1023)
The World, © Xstream Pictures (2004)

ACMI presents

The World


Jia Zhangke | China, Japan, France | 2004 | Unclassified (15+)

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ACMI Member



Sun 18 Feb 2024

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Faux Eiffel and Twin Towers form an illusory backdrop for both a group of young workers trying to get ahead in modern Beijing, and selfie-obsessed visitors alike.

It has a romantic power that seeps into your bones, with its languid rhythms... and fierce attention to surreal detail.

Wesley Morris (Boston Globe)

Beijing World Park is a theme park that offers its visitors quick access to all of the world's great landmarks (all replicas, not quite to scale) without having to leave the confines of the city limits. However, instead of appreciating the wonders, most visitors seem to want to take selfies in front of the attractions to build up the illusion of more interesting adventures.

Three of the park's workers navigate the ups and downs of modern life from inside the park and sometimes with a foot outside. Tao is a dancer who has embarked on a new relationship with Taisheng, one of the park's security guards. Taisheng has taken on work outside of the park looking after a woman who waits endlessly to migrate to France. And Taisheng's friend Zhijun arrives at the park looking for work.

Curator's Note

The artificiality of modern life is given the grandest of metaphors in Jia Zhangke's fourth feature. Mirroring the director's own relocation and observations, the film shifts the action away from his beloved Shanxi province to the bright lights and big city of Beijing, or the microcosmic theme park within it.

Premiering at the 61st Venice International Film Festival the film received high acclaim on the world stage and was the first of director Jia's films to be released in China.

Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)

Format: Digital
Language: Mandarin, Russian and English with English subtitles
Courtesy: Tamasa Distribution
Runtime: 143 mins

Event duration

143 mins


Unclassified (15+)

Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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