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Year: 2003
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Li Yixiang, Wang Shuangbao, Wang Baoqiang, An Jing, Bao Zhenjiang, Sun Wei, Zhao Junzhi, Wang Yining, Liu Zhenqi, Zhang Lulu, Li Yan, Zhao Hong, Nie Weihua, Cao Yang, Jian Chengwen, Zhi Lei, Han Chaoyang, Yue Senyi, Zhang Hongqiang, Mao Yongan, Sun Qincen, Zhao Jun, Sun Hanyi, Wu Haiman, Xu Xin, Cao Li, Dong Zhimei
Director: Yang Li
Countries: Germany / Hong Kong / China
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
UK: 92 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and sex
UK Release Date: 7 November 2003


A modern fable of greed, murder and innocence set in the illegal coal mines of Northern China...

One clear winter morning, in one of the many poorly equipped coal mines in Northern China, Song Jinming and Tang Chaoyang begin another day of hard work with Tang's brother Chaolu who has arrived only a few days ago. In the depths of a mineshaft suddenly Song and Tang struck Chaolu with a pickaxe and kill him. They make the mine collapse and then escape from the 'accident' unscathed. While pretending to lament the death of his brother, Tang and Song threaten to report the incident to the local government and police, in order to extort compensation monies from the mine owner. Fearing exposure of the mine's illegal operations, the mine owner finally give in to their demands. After leaving and sending their loot home, the partners start scouting for another 'relative'.

At the local train station which is full of itinerant job-seekers, Tang find another potential victim - a sixteen-year-old peasant boy from the countryside - Yuan Fengming. Yuan's father has left home to work at the mines but never returned. Yuan therefore has no choice but to quit school and find work himself. Tang agrees to help Yuan find a job and introduce him to the mine owners under one condition - he must agree to pretend to be Song's nephew.

However, Song believes that Yuan, being a child, should not be killed as this is 'not the right thing to do' in this line of 'business'. He disagrees with Tang but soon relents upon Tang's insistence, and the plan is carried forward. Yet Song tries to concoct a diversion to 'qualify' Yuan as a victim. The relationship between the partners is gradually transformed by Yuan's innocence. In the last minute, the partners' scheme takes an unexpected turn...

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