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Shanghai Trance

Feature film, 2008, 122 min.

While the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai is growing and modernising at an explosive rate, youngsters do the splits between a new era and old traditions. The film follows the love lives of various youths in this bustling city. Xu Yu lives with his mother, who is disappointed because he fails to get a job in one of the high rises. His girlfriend meanwhile moves to a better neighbourhood and their worlds change willy-nilly. Jenny's father is disappointed too. His child shacks up with her hip DJ friend and works as a promotion girl. Finally, we follow the Dutch architect Jochem, who falls in love with the girl next door. One by one, these youngsters try to thread their way in this rapidly changing world. The urban environment, with both skyscrapers and cluttered alleys, makes up an impressive backdrop. Counterbalancing the speediness of the city, Verbeek chose a leisurely, quiet film style. The Dutchman, who lived and worked in Shanghai over the past years, used a predominantly Chinese cast and crew.

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