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Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2002 • China
Starring Wu Qiong, Zhao Wei Wei, Zhao Tao
One of the first great films of the twenty-first century, Jia Zhangke’s third feature (and his first shot on digital) sets an arresting tale of disaffected youth against the backdrop of a changing China. Evoking the existential malaise of China’s so-called “birth control” generation—who came of age following the country’s one-child policy—UNKNOWN PLEASURES unfolds in a series of stunning, slow-burn long takes as it traces the relationship between an aimless teenage couple searching for meaning amid the detritus of Western pop culture.