I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

I Wish I Knew (Hai shang chuan qi) Reviews

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April 27, 2020
A city symphony in a minor key, reminiscent of Pennebaker and Ruttman, that searches for the soul of a people and finds a microcosm of a century of upheaval and uncertainty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 19, 2020
Jia has a gift for exposing the underside of words like 'development', 'progress' or 'revolution', abstract political or economic programs that manifest at the cost of people's physical and cultural displacement.
February 13, 2020
The resulting mix of image and interview, weariness and wonder, makes for a sober assessment of just how much change China's largest city has been through since the 1930s...
January 31, 2020
Making its theatrical debut stateside a decade after bowing at the Cannes Film Festival, Jia Zhangke's documentary is a masterpiece worthy of (re)discovery.
January 30, 2020
One of the more poetic documentaries I have ever seen, I Wish I Knew is an ode to the impact one city has had, across so many decades, on so many lives.
January 24, 2020
Ending a minor but fascinating film in Jia's provocative oeuvre, the images of these sleepers are a prelude to the other troubled dreams of China (A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, Ash Is the Purest White) that he has made since.
Full Review | Original Score: A
January 24, 2020
One of Jia's directorial gifts, as he has proven in his documentary, fiction, and hybrid films, is to capture human beings in all their complexity and mystery no matter how brief their appearance before the camera.
January 24, 2020
I Wish I Knew functions as an admirable cinematic tone poem about a place and its times.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 23, 2020
Weaving a beautiful, dreamlike path through history, I Wish I Knew is less documentary as essay film than documentary as prose poem, its meandering reinforced by Lim Giong's delicate, melancholy score and Zhao Tao's presence...
January 23, 2020
Jia is building not just a portrait of a city, but of a fragmented people - one story and memory at a time.
January 22, 2020
[A]n expansive exploration of Shanghai as a cultural center shaken by converging historical forces.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
February 22, 2011
The poignant historical ironies of the Chinese director Jia Zhangke's documentary, commissioned by last year's Shanghai World Expo, begin with the title...
February 15, 2011
I Wish I knew is a rich, multi-faceted city film that challenges viewers to make sense of the various scraps that the filmmaker artfully arranges for our consideration.
November 12, 2010
The film works like a sort of fast-forward of the city's past over the last 75 years, and in addition to the wealth of cultural and historical detail, there are things in the film that seem to welcome contemporary political interpretation.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
September 15, 2010
The pacing is steady. The stories are told simply, with zero affectation or buildup by the director. The effect is astonishing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 13, 2010
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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