Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform that began in 1978, following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, resulted in rapid economic growth that catapulted the Chinese nation through a period of intense modernization and development. In this series, we use Chinese Youth as a lens to understand the corresponding changes in Chinese society, by examining films that feature young people as main characters. Through their struggles to cope with China’s fast-changing reality, we take a close look at Chinese people’s life experiences during those turbulent years and how many Chinese redefine their identity after the Cultural Revolution and before the advent of a new century.
The Troubleshooters (顽主), 1989
Director: Jiashan Mi
Runtime: 110 minutes
Language: Mandarin with English Subtitles
The Troubleshooters is an absurd comedy that tells the story of three young men who start a company that solves other people’s personal problems. A quick-witted, perceptive and reflective film, The Troubleshooters offers a charming depiction of Chinese youth culture, as well as a wonderful panorama of Beijing in the 1980s. The creative team features stand-out early efforts from several future film legends including actor Ge You and writer Wang Shuo.