Jia Zhang Ke’s documentary loosely follows the pulse of Shanghai from the 1850s to present day. He feels the pulse by interviewing a spectrum of Shanghainese . Some recognizable like Hsiao-hsien Hou, Rebecca Pan others obscure to a western audience. Their stories bring forth different emotions but none really test your emotional threshold. Plus the lack of interviews with the common man left a gaping hole in the film. Somehow it was the quiet presence of Zhang Ke’s muse, Tao Zhao, that left an impression. Her silent presence evokes the trademark stillness of Zhang Ke and showing that he might be better of sticking to fiction.
Rating: * *