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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
An Elephant Sitting Still
Directed by Hu Bo • 2018 • China
Starring Yu Zhang, Yuchang Peng, Uvin Wang
One of the most acclaimed feature debuts of the last decade, the first and, tragically, last film from Hu Bo, who took his own life at the age of twenty-nine, is a tour de force of existential fury and transcendent catharsis. Set under the gray skies of China’s industrial north, AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL traces the intertwining lives of a band of dispossessed souls who come together on a pilgrimage toward a city in Manchuria where a circus elephant is rumored to be sitting still, seemingly oblivious to the pain and tribulations of the world at large. Composed in a series of bravura tracking shots, this profoundly felt epic gathers an overwhelming emotional power as it moves toward its soul-shattering climax.