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"Pickpocket", from the east by Jia Zhange is Ranjan's recommendation

While most of his friends have moved on in life to become petty traders and turn legit, Xiao Wu finds himself trawling the streets of a small town as a pickpocket. When one of his friends does not invite him to his wedding, he takes it to heart; his relationship with a karaoke club singer who doubles as a prostitute seems to be the only silver lining, but then it takes a turn that the shy protagonist had not anticipated...


Seemingly unstructured and bubbling with raw energy, Chinese auteur Jia Zhange’s debut feature film PICKPOCKET (Xiao Wu, 1997), shot on 16 mm camera shoots a casual glance at the contradictions besetting a country aspiring towards naked capitalism that is in conflict with its fake communist agenda. The stylistic and atmospheric influence of Breathless (1960) on the then young director is unmistakable.

Look it up on MUBI.

Ranjan Das is Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.

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