Still Life (2006) - full transcript

Coalminer Han Sanming comes from Fengyang in Shanxi to the Three Gorges town Fengjie to look for his ex-wife whom he has not seen for 16 years. The couple meet on the bank of the Yangtze River and vow to remarry. Nurse Shen Hong also comes to Fengjie from Taiyuan in Shanxi to look for her husband who has not been home for two years. The couple embrace each other and waltz under the imposing Three Gorges dam, but feel they are so apart and decide to have a divorce. The old township has been submerged, while a new town has to be built. Life persists in the Three Gorges - what should be taken up is taken up, what should be cast off is cast off. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
The Yangtze ferry from Fengjie

to Chongming Island will be arriving

at the pier in 30 minutes

Will all passengers

kindly carry their luggage

and wait patiently
for our announcement

Come on in!

A big welcome
to our friends from Fengjie!

To float on water...

...all you need is US dollars

If you want to learn how,

pay close attention!

But I don't have US dollars

Only blank paper

What to do?


See? Euros!

See? Euros!

Do you see?

The euros become RMB!



RMB! You get it?

You get it?

Now, pay UP!

Tuition fees!

Didn't you learn from the master?

Heard about
"intellectual property rights"?


No money

No money?!


What's that? Show me!

Come on, anywhere you want to go

Come on, rides for hire!

Rides for hire!

Where are you going?

Just get on!

Where you wanna go?


"Sichuan Province, Fengjie County
Granite Street, No.5"


5 yuan

Make it 3

Hell, everyone charges 5!

Let's get going

Hey, man, this is it



That grass in the water?

All that's left of 5 Granite Street

Get off

But it's under water!

The old Fengjie was flooded ages ago

Don't you watch the news?

Ever heard of the Three Gorges Dam?

And the people?

Gone! Everyone moved out

You knew it was flooded!

You cheated me out of 5 yuan!

I didn't order it flooded

Do you know Missy Ma?

They're all called 'Missy' here
which one do you mean?

Are you looking for a person or a job?

A person

Tell you what, man...

For 3 yuan more, I'll take you

to the Relocation Office

You can check their computer

for her new address

How about it?


See where that ferry's moored?

That's where my home was

It's all gone

We're implementing that policy!

Ordinance 195 is pasted up over there

Look, we are all under
the same communist leadership

There's only one policy
governing relocation subsidies

it should be the same!

So how come it works out differently?

Why the difference?

Watch what you say!

You people must be corrupt

Something here isn't right

Of course there are problems!

A city with 2000 years of history

was demolished in just two years!

We need to slow down a bit
to solve the problems

No. 5 Granite Street

Fengjie County, Sichuan Province...

You've been out of touch for years?

16 years

That explains it

Fengjie is no longer
under Sichuan's jurisdiction

Chongqing has had
its own government since 1997.

Fengjie is now under its jurisdiction

I heard about it

Is she still in Fengjie?

I guess so, where else could she go?

I've no idea. We're building
the Three Gorges Dam here

And this is the Reservoir District

People have moved to
Guangdong, Liaoning,

all over the country

This computer is useless!

Come back tomorrow?


The computer is dying


It's not working

Please leave now!

I can't help...

Not until you do something about it!

(Third Phase Level:156.5m)

You're from Shanxi?

It's 3 yuan per night

3 yuan per night

What the hell are you doing?

You want to kill off the tourist market?

Okay, I'll give you a special

rate... 1.5 yuan

1.2 yuan... come on

Whatever you say

Come on, pay UP!

You sided with him...

Here's 1 yuan

Second Brother...

Tell Ma...

I got here

Buddy, did you pick up the magic trick?

A word of advice to you...

This is my territory!


Not really...

Mr He...

What is it?

Have a cigarette

I don't smoke

Come on

Why are you in Fengjie?

Looking for someone


Looking for someone

I don't understand

I'm looking for someone

Oh, I see... Who?

Where did the people
at No 5 Granite Street move to?

I can't understand your accent

No. 5 Granite Street

Don't understand

No. 5 Granite Street

Buddy, are you forgetting me?

Have a cigarette


Brother Ma used to live there

Yes, I'm looking for his sister

I don't know his sister

Where has he moved to?

He's on a cargo ferry at Pier 6

ls Old Ma here?

People or goods?

Are you Old Ma?

I am

I'm from Shanxi

Where's Missy?

Shall we go on deck?

You want?

Old Ma

Tell him if he picks another fight...

...I'll set fire to his boat!

When did you get here?



To see Missy

She's not here
She's on a boat in Yichang


Down river

And where's my kid?

Dunno, ask the mother

You're the uncle! You should know!

I believe you are honest

But we just met

Don't stir up the past

We don't want trouble

I just want to see my own child

The kid isn't yours any way

What do you mean?

The police decided it

The cops

didn't say that

when Missy took her to Chongqing!

Fuck you!

I'll dump you in the river!

You fucker!

I came all this way to see my daughter

Stick around

for a month or two...

She'll be back sometime

All I want is to see her

If you make trouble
you're going in the river

Brother, this is for you...

My hometown speciality

I'm not your brother
I don't want your liquor!

(Chinese Palace Inn)

You're demolishing buildings?

That's right

How much do they pay?

50 or 60 yuan a day

Not bad

Here, a new friend from Shanxi

You came here overland?

I came by ferry

When you passed Fengjie
did you see Kui Men?

What's Kui Men?

It's just outside Fengjie


See, this is Kui Men right here

Look, my part of China's
on a banknote too

That's the Hukou Falls
on the Yellow River

it looks very beautiful

So does yours

(Try Hard)

(Even if it's only for one day...

Make all my dreams come true

With all my heart and soul.

I'll always be true to you

Whatever it takes...

I'll see it through

I'll whisper it in your ear...

and say...

"I love you, I love you"

Just like a mouse loves rice...

I'll be there

(no matter what a heavy rain)

New here?

From where?


That's a long way


Are you looking for a girl?

What girl?

A real woman.

Dayan! Come out!

Still smoking!

Did your younger sister come?

She just left

Come in and sit down

What did she say?

That she'd go to
see Manager Liu with me

But there's no point!

Your man?

It's hard...

He lost his arm working in town

There's no rush, pay me later

Do you know her?

That's Missy Ma

You know where she is?

Working on the Wanzhou Highway

Not in Yichang?

Could be

How do you know her?

I'm her ex-husband

From Shanxi


Where's my daughter?

No idea... she was at school with mine

Maybe your daughter
knows where she is?

My daughter's working in town


They were in primary school together?

Any class photo?

I don't know where it would be,

I can't find that old stuff any more

Could you have a look?

I haven't seen her for 16 years

Which one is my daughter?

This one



What's your name, buddy?

Han... Han Sanming

And yours?

Brother Mark

know the name?

Your surname's "Mark"?

Nah, it's what they call me at the pier

They give you a hard time?

It's every man for himself
in the underworld


it rains a lot here?

It sure does

We had no rain all spring,

the wheat's dying

So you farmers are all dying of hunger?

Good idea to move here

I'm a coal miner back home

Oh, a coal miner?

Why didn't you
stay there and mine coal?

What are you doing here?

I'm looking for my wife and kid

You bought a wife from around here?

You are very smart

Nothing special

More women than men around here

Lots of women were sold off

How much did she cost you?

Back then, I paid 3000 yuan

Three thousand!

You paid that much and still let her go?

The police stepped in...

she kept crying
and really wanted to go

She took our kid as well

Well, it's a tough one

Can't really help

I asked her to leave me an address

when she left

Okay, show me

"Mango"? What cigarettes are these?

They were the best brand 16 years ago

You're nostalgic!

We remember our own pasts

"You know what?"

"Present-day society doesn't suit us..."

"...because we're too nostalgic"

Who taught you that?

Chow Yun-Fat! Brother Fat!

Brother Fat

If something comes up, please help me

No problem

Tell you what...

I'll give you my mobile number...

Call me if you need me

We're buddies, I'll be there for you

Call my mobile

You carry a mobile?

What's your number?

What's that song?

"Bless Good-hearted People"

Fuck, "Good-hearted People"!

None of those

in Fengjie these days

Okay, call my mobile

Listen to mine...

(Waves flow, waves pound

(The river runs for a thousand miles)

(It surges through our world of woes)

(Third Phase Level: 156.3m)

You're the manager!
This is your fault!

What kind of manager are you?

a 100-million-yuan factory!

You should be ashamed!
How irresponsible!

Mr Liu,

you have to sort this out

Brother, sit down

Mr Liu, we've seen a lawyer

about my brother's case

The law says

you must pay him compensation

What kind of manager

turns his back on his own staff?

You must take the blame

About your brother's case...

He lost his arm
at Yunyang Engineering Works

not here

So it's none of my business!

Talk to the people at Yunyang!


You sold our assets to that woman

from Fujian for next to nothing


If you hadn't sold this place...

he wouldn't have
gone to work at Yunyang

and lost his arm!

I don't see the connection!

We haven't been paid for months!

Give me the money, I'll hire a lawyer

Yes, take the money

and get out!

We don't want your dirty money!

Wang, what's going on out there?

Don't take away factory's property

Protect our state's property

Excuse me

Who are you?

I'm looking for someone

Who? We've already closed down

He's from Shanxi
he did your marketing

in Shanxi

He used to guard the dam at Yichang

Another soldier there
recommended him to you

Guo Bin

Right, Guo Bin

I don't know him

But you knew his name!

Don't know him!

Shop steward Liu
someone wants Guo Bin

Who wants Guo Bin?

I do

You're looking for Guo Bin?

And you are?

I'm his wife

His wife? How do you do!

How do you do

The works here closed down

several years ago

No one's touched his things since then

Are you here to go through them?

Okay, I can do that

Do you have his phone number?

No, but he seems to be doing well

Haven't seen him for ages

Old Wang is still here?

Ma'am, do you know where Guo Bin is?

What do you mean?

I've come a long way to find him

Aren't you married?

How come you've lost touch with him?

He hasn't been home for two years

Two years!

They're hopeless, these male comrades

You must be angry, stuck at home alone

Any idea what he's doing?

I don't know specifically...

He lives on the other side of the river

I never go there,

even when I'm in town

Damn it, I can't open this lock

What's wrong?

It's rusted

Let me!

Ma'am, you're a visitor, right?


Do you have a moment?

What is it?

I want to ask you something

Can you help me?


My name is Chunyu

Where you come from
do they need maids?

I'm sixteen years old

$0 young!

It's getting dark

Yes, we're used to it here

Ma'am, where are you from?



(Fly slowly, my dear one

Beware the rose's thorns

Open your mouth, my dear one

The flower scents are intoxicating!

Fly with me, my dear one

Past the woods to see the brook

Come and dance, my dear one

It's always bright in love's springtime

Let's fly away in sweet embrace

Beyond this world, for eternity

I'll chase you for a lifetime

Love you with no regrets

Let's cherish your beauty, my tendresse

We'll fly away in sweet embrace

Beyond this world, for eternity

Until the autumn leaves begin to fall

(Even if we perish, no regrets)


Can you give me the number
for Fengjie Antiquities Bureau?

Right, Fengjie Antiquities Bureau

Thank you

Excuse me
where can I find Wang Dongming?

He's over there


You're welcome

Take care, don't knock anything over!

Wang Dongming?

Yes... And you are?

I'm Bin's wife

Bin's wife?

Shen Hong

We've spoken on the phone

Mrs Guo!

When did you get here?

Just this morning

Where's Bin?

I'm here to see him

Does he know?

I didn't tell him

You didn't call him?

Why don't you try?


His mobile's turned off

Dongming, help me reach him

I don't know my way around here

Sure, let me just finish this

Okay, I'll wait

What are you digging for?

We've just found some artifacts
from the Western Han Dynasty

Careful there!

(Demolition Authority Headquarters)


Is Bin here?

Boss Guo? Wang!

Who's asking?

His army buddy
from the Cultural Bureau

Is he here?

He's been and gone...

meetings with county cadres

Expecting him back?

Hard to say, he's a busy guy

We can wait

Okay, have a seat

Please wait

Hey: man!

What happened to you?

Shit! What happened?

I went to No. 68 and they attacked me

Hey, guys, let's go get 'em!

Let's take those bastards out!

I told you to send more guys

Let's get 'em!

Not so tight!

Let me

Who are you?

I'm a nurse

Okay, then you do it

Let's hack them to death!

Does it hurt?

Not at all

Bin is your boss?


His wife looks so skinny

He's not married! He's from Shanxi

He isn't? But I just saw her

That was Madam Ding

She's our real boss

What's her name?

Ding Ya-Ling

she's from Xiamen

Maybe there's something
between them

They don't know either

One other possibility...

Try looking in the Conference Room

Boss Guo sometimes takes a rest there

when he's had some drinks

Which floor is that?

16th floor

Let's check in the Conference Room

You go, I'll wait here

Okay, but don't go far

Wait for me here

(Chairperson of the Hehe Group:
Madame Ding Ya-Ling)

(24 Jan 2002:

(Demolition of
The Education Bureau)

Dongming, let me help you

No need!

You just relax

Did you feel sick on the boat?

Nothing serious

I'll treat you
to some real Sichuan dishes

I'm really sorry

we're causing you so much trouble

I picked a bad friend

I guess so

I was unlucky

You came so far to get here

Try to make the best of it

The ferry back to
Little Three Gorges leaves

at eight in the morning

You're in such a hurry?

Not really

But it's been two years

You've kept an eye on him
since he's been here

I haven't done much,

haven't even seen him for the last year

It's an amazing view

The Three Gorges!


You know us well

Tell me frankly...

Does Bin have another woman?

He's very busy

Out a lot

Entertaining cadres and clients

As I told you...

I haven't seen him in a year

You men are always
shielding each other

I promise you I'm not

The two of us...

What? He said something?

The problem with him is

he never told me anything

Son of a bitch!


What is it?

Count the digits

Just seven...

Fengjie numbers are eight now

This is the last mobile number
he gave me

Two years ago

All I could do was wait for his calls

Sometimes he did call

But as long as I was still alive,

he wasn't worried

(What's got into my eyes...

...(so I can't see your distant shadow?)

Shen Hong!

He never used to dance

Just being social

He's having some fling?

Probably not

Then what?

Maybe he is

Let's go, he's not coming back

Wait a bit longer
you can stay at my place tonight

He must be busy with something

Yes, probably with Ding Ya-Ling

This is my latest project

it cost 240 million

Quite a big challenge

Chairman Mao dreamed it
and you made it happen!

Why aren't the lights on today?

I'll get on the case

Mr Luo, my VIPs are here

Why is the bridge dark?

Are you ready?





Lights on!

I've found the man you're looking for

Too busy yesterday
I turned off my mobile

What are you doing here?

I'm leaving

Get in the car!


What's going on?

You didn't even greet me

Something wrong at home?

Don't be angry with me

It's hard for me too

I have something to tell you

I'm in love with someone else


Do you care?

When did it happen?

Does it matter?

He is waiting for me in Yichang

We'll take a boat
from there to Shanghai

Sounds lovely

Bin Bin...

Let's divorce

Are you sure about this?

I'm sure

I'm leaving

Sign the papers when you have time

Welcome to the
Yangtze jetfoil "Forest"

We are now leaving Fengjie

for Shanghai

As long ago as the Tang Dynasty...

...the great poet Li Bai

wrote these famous lines

"From the walls of Baidi
high in the colored dawn...

To Jiangling by nightfall
is a journey of 1000 miles

Yet the cry of monkeys
from the riverbanks behind me...

Carries to my tiny boat
and over ten thousand peaks"

And today...

thanks to the Three Gorges Dam

the eyes of the world
are on this place again

The Three Gorges Dam
has been a goal

of our Party leaders
for many years

Also the people living here

made a big sacrifice

On 1 May 2006...

...the water level here
will rise to 156.3 metres

These little houses you can see

will be submerged

(Any old wine bottles for sale?

Any old wine bottles for sale?

Such a familiar voice!

I've known it all my life

I never need to recall it...

Because it's never left me

No heaven without earth!

No earth without home!

No home without you!

No you without me!

If you hadn't raised me...

...shielded me so warmly

...protected me so carefully...

(What would be my destiny?)

Nice and cool?



Mr He!

What is it?

Hey, who told you to write that?

Just following government orders
old man

Government orders?

Shouldn't we be notified first?

You're bullying us!

Have some consideration!

I'm inconsiderate?

Don't think I'm senile

I've been in Fengjie for ages,

I have all kinds of friends here


Are you alright? Not feeling well?

I caught a cold

Why are you here?

We have to demolish this building

You have to pull down a
crumbling old building like this?


Find a good place to move to?

Maybe somewhere in Guangdong

And your husband?

We can't wait here to die together!

We need to decide

Take care


Have a toffee

"Big White Rabbit Toffee"

We're going to Yunyang today
to beat up some guy

The boss is giving us 50 yuan each!

Wanna come along?

I don't dare
touch that kind of money!

Anyhow, we'll have money today,

so I'll buy you a drink

Okay, see you in the restaurant tonight

Order plenty of meat!

I'll see you
in the Bus Terminal Restaurant!

Take care, and don't be late!

Here, guys, have some toffees

Come on!

Do a good job, buddies!

No problem

Make Guo Bin proud

Here already?

Have you eaten?

I ate before

I'm going down to Yichang

She can't come back for you

Wait at Fengjie

I'll tell her to find you there


Over here!

Mr He!

Who is it?

Me, Sanming

I came to see your new place

Come in

Mr He, the room charge

Everything packed up?

Yes, except for the stuff in your room

When you go, I'll have it sent over

Going to work?

Just tore down a bank

You're leaving?

Going to Guangdong

You leave so hurriedly

That's life

Then take care



Brother Ma

She's back?

I'll be right there!

Is the boat still there?


You guys go ahead

Sit down

Hungry? Want a bowl of noodles?

No thanks

Where's my child?

Working down south

Isn't this the south?

In Dongguan...

Way down south

ls your new husband good to you?

He's not my husband

I help on his boat, to feed myself

You're more tanned these days

You look older too

Are you okay these days?

Not so good

I cared a lot for you, but you ran off

I was so young, what did I know?

You'd given birth, my mother
wouldn't let you go back to work

But you still left

You have a new wife?


I can find one for you

No need

I just want to see the child

Don't you have a single photo of her?

Yes, it's on the boat

Take me to see it

You never came

Why did you wait 16 years?


I want to take her with me

See what she thinks about it

Give us a chance

I think it'll be all right...

if you clear her brother's debt

to me... 30,000 yuan

Give me a year to pay it

What is it?


White Rabbit Brand Toffee

I lose

Drink more

Eat more

Old man, I'm going home tomorrow

This is very sudden

I'm going home to earn more money

Don't ever forget me!

How could I?

I'll miss you whenever

I see Kui Men on the banknote

Come on, we should drink


Eat up!

Could you find me work
if I came there?


There are so many coal mines

How much could I make in a day?

Around 200 yuan


Pull down buildings here,

the most is 40 or 50 a day

When we finish here,

we'll follow you.

Really? All of you?

Really! Let's go!

Come on, let's drink to it!

Brothers! Cheers!

But mine work is dangerous

Two local men died
just when I left to come here

Dozens die every year

You never know

who's going to survive

So think about it carefully

It's really dangerous

Yes, great danger


Subtitles by: Reklame