A man falls down the stairs, but instead of helping him, the bystanders just take photos with their phones. Lao Shi is a taxi driver and he’s fighting for justice in the darkest recesses of Chinese society. The man who pushed him got into his taxi drunk not so very long ago, grabbed the steering wheel and caused an accident. The victim of the crash has been in a coma ever since, and because his family is destitute, Lao Shi is paying the hospital bills. The insurance company is refusing to cover the costs because the taxi driver left the scene of the accident with the injured man because no help was in sight. Now Lao Shi needs the testimony of his passenger, who angrily refuses to cooperate. The symbolism of the protagonist’s name, which means “old stone”, is clear: in a society of blinkered people only concerned with their own future, the taxi driver’s desire to help makes him seem as if he’s from another era. On his quest to find who’s responsible for his plight, the victim ends up becoming a perpetrator himself, and Lao Shi gradually morphs into a real horror film.
by Johnny Ma
with Chen Gang, Nai An, Wang Hongwei, Zhang Zebin
People’s Republic of China / Canada 2016