The World (Shijie)
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A young dancer, her security-guard boyfriend and others work at World Park, a bizarre cross-pollination of Las Vegas and Epcot Center where visitors can interact with famous international monuments without ever leaving the Bejing suburbs. Daily lavish shows are performed amongst replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, St. Mark's Square, Big Ben, the Pyramids and even the Twin Towers. But working beyond the kitsch potential, 'The World' casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves, friendships and desperate dreams of these provincial workers.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A tonally flat experience. The movie's highs and lows are modulated to the point where nothing moves you or touches you in these lives of not-desperate-enough desperation."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"It has a romantic power that seeps into your bones, with its languid rhythms, general plotlessness, and fierce attention to surreal detail."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Gives one a rough idea about the Chinese Dream through its modern day landscape and relating the new China to the hopes and aspirations of its young citizens."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Beyond the novelty of the setting -- which isn't even that novel when you have something similar a few exits south -- there's just not enough going on."
‑ Steve Schneider, Orlando Weekly
"The World steeps the viewer in a culture that clings to traditional conventions but must...embrace the mores of the high-tech, fast paced world...."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It's a heartbreaking, beautiful movie that gains strength from its deep characterizations."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"The World has a lot to say and is not in any unholy rush to say it."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"The World feels too small in scope--ironic considering its title."
‑ Ethan Alter, Film Journal International
"Easily one of the year's best films."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Jia has a passion for long-held shots that probe both character and institutional contradictions without mercy. But with some compassion and much dry wit."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Its rewards come with patience and concentration."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Jia's most extraordinary mapping isn't of an external landscape, but an emotional one. Without ever leaving Beijing, he shows us an entire universe of human joy, frailty and sorrow."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"The World is less a condemnation of the current state of the world than an attempt to explain and come to terms with it."
‑ Derek Smith, Cinematic Reflections
"... an inspired metaphor for the strange new world of modern China in the global economy."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Even with his observational style, Zhangke's film compels"
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
More reviews for The World (Shijie) on Rotten Tomatoes