Sometimes called the most significant of the current generation of Chinese film directors, Jia Zhangke (b. 1970) enjoys the distinction of never having had some of his finest work commercially shown in his own country.

This would include the so-called “Hometown Trilogy,” here illuminatingly examined by Michael Berry in a new volume in the exemplary BFI Film Classics series. The three films compose Jia’s first feature-length productions: “Pickpocket” (aka “Xiao Wu”) was completed in 1997, “Platform” in 2000, and “Unknown Pleasures” in 2002.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.