Berlinale: Programme

Film file


San qiang pai an jing qi

A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop

Zhang Yimou (Director)

Sun Honglei (Actor)

Anatol Weber (Moderation)

Zhang Yimou (Director)

Sun Honglei (Actor)

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Wang runs a little noodle shop in a small desert town near Jiayu Pass not far from the Great Wall. He lives in his shop with his wife and their staff. But life with Wang is far from pleasant: he’s a real skinflint who only thinks about himself, and he sometimes doesn’t pay his staff for months on end. His wife also suffers at the hands of this domestic tyrant, although a discrete affair with Li, the shy cook, helps her to bear her lot in life. Every time she needs some more rouge, Li drives his boss lady into town where they have sex. But their regular little tryst doesn’t go unnoticed. Shortly beforehand, Li’s lover purchases a gun from a Persian carpet salesman and gives it to the cook for safekeeping. Wang, she says, must die – it’s the only way they can be happy. In the meantime, a waiter named Zhao and a policeman named Zhang inform Wang about his wife’s love affair and the gun that Li keeps hidden. Wang promises to pay Zhang if he kills the lovers. The next day, Zhang indeed returns with a bloodstained piece of clothing and fiercely pierced piece of woman’s underwear but, as he waits in Wang’s office for his reward, Zhang shoots Wang with the gun he found in Li’s possession. Wang collapses in a heap, but, just as Zhang is about to empty the safe, he hears Zhao arguing with one of the waitresses, Chen. The pair apparently has the same thing in mind as Zhang. Zhang manages to escape through the window unseen, leaving behind the murder weapon and the victim …
Zhang Yimou: “I love all the works by the Coen Brothers. Some twenty years ago at a film festival, I saw their directorial debut, BLOOD SIMPLE, which left a great impression on me. The film keeps coming back to me, although I haven’t seen it since.”

People's Republic of China / Hong Kong, China 2009, 90 min


Zhang Yimou


Sun Honglei
Xiao Shenyang
Yan Ni

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