SXSW Review Beijing Taxi
Director: Miao Wang World Premiere Documentary Competition 78 minutes
Synopsis BEIJING TAXI is a feature length documentary that vividly portrays Beijing undergoing a profound transformational arch. Through a humanistic lens, the intimate lives of three taxi drivers connect a morphing city confronted with modern issues and changing values. With diverse imagery combined with a contemporary score rich in atmosphere, we experience a visceral sense of the common citizens' persistent attempts to grasp the elusive. Candid and perceptive in its filming approach and highly cinematic in style, BEIJING TAXI takes us on a lyrical journey into fragments of a society riding the bumpy roads to modernization. Though the destination is unknown, they continue to forge ahead.
Director Bio Beijing native Miao Wang has a B.A. in economics from the Univ of Chicago and a M.F.A. in design/film from Parsons. Her award-winning documentary YELLOW OX MOUNTAIN has screened at over 20 venues and broadcast on WNET Thirteen. She apprenticed at Maysles Films. Miao has grants from Sundance, NYSCA and Jerome Foundation. She is a fellow of Tribeca All Access, IFP Filmmakers Lab and the IFP Market.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you want to see what was happening two years before the Summer Olympics in Beijing, this documentary might interest you.
I knew nothing about it. It took place in 2006 and follows three taxi drivers. Not much happens. The documentary puts you on the streets of Beijing, and you hear cab driver’s thoughts about becoming a capitalist society. There isn’t nearly enough commentary about the society. At one point you spend 10 minutes watching one guy go to a fishing hole, but it's too crowded, so he goes to another place, and then catches a fish. So, after one hour and ten minutes, I left. Leaving festival films is much worse than walking out of a regular theater. Why? Because the directors, producers and actors are typically in the theater with you. It was a tough call, but I had another film I wanted to make sure and get to on time. That, and I needed caffeine. I think Beijing Taxi was partially to blame.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10