starring Hong Wei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Tian Yi Yang
written and directed by Jia Zhang-Ke
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover To recommend or not to recommend Jia Zhang-ke's Platform? The question depends on who you are. For those with even a passing interest in Chinese cinema and culture, it's virtually mandatory viewing: the film is one of the most dense and nuanced portraits of a society in transition from any nation I can think of, and for Westerners it puts a face to events that we normally hear mentioned only in passing. Those seeking narrative thrills, however, had better look elsewhere, because Platform's glacial pace and oppressive mise-en-scène are calculated to test the patience of even the most sympathetic viewer. But even though the film is tough slogging at times (a circumstance I attribute to its having been re-edited for export), those with intellectual priorities are advised to get on this Platform and ride the train to the last stop.