2016 - CHINA/ CANADA - 80 MINUTES - COLOUR - IN MANDARIN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A FILM BY JOHNNY MA
FEATURING: GANG CHEN, AN NAI, HONGWEI WANG, ZEBIN ZHANG, XUE’ER LUO
In Johnny Ma’s thrilling debut feature, a Chinese taxi driver finds himself plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare where no good deed goes unpunished. Beginning as a gritty social-realist drama before u-turning into a blood-drenched noir, Old Stone follows the repercussions of a car accident in a society where life is cheap and compassion is ruinously expensive.
When a drunken passenger causes Lao Shi to swerve and hit a motorcyclist, the driver stops to help the injured man. When no police or ambulance arrive he drives the victim to the hospital, checks him in and finds himself liable for the man’s medical bills. The repercussions of Shi’s selfless act expose a society rife with bone-chilling callousness and bureaucratic indifference. On the verge of losing his cab, his job and his family, Lao Shi (in a magnificent performance by Chen Gang) has to resort to desperate measures to survive.
Photo Credit: Zeitgeist Films & Films We Like
“Gripping....Powerful performances and eerie imagery.... A full-blown psychological thriller, complete with a devastating denouement.”
– Clarence Tsui, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“Excoriating! A suspense thriller with Dostoevskyan undertones.”
– Maggie Lee, VARIETY
3 our of 4! "confident debut from Vancouver-based writer-director Johnny Ma"
- Globe and Mail
"The Best Canadian First Feature prize, with a purse of $15,000, went to Old Stone by Johnny Ma. It’s a powerful thriller about a Chinese taxi driver who gets caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare after getting in an accident."
- National Post
"a dark commentary about society which uncomfortably rings true."
- Live for Film
"an engrossing social drama"
- Carbon Arc
"Ma's ambitious feature debut will tie your stomach in knots and make you question everything from moral responsibility to individualism in the new China."