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Better Days

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"However archetypal the characters become — sometimes it feels like Xiao Bei is the bad-boy boxer and Chen Nian is the good-girl hope-for-redemption from a classic film noir — the electrifyingly real performances, especially from a riveting, guttingly empathetic Zhou, convince us of the emotional truth."
— Variety

Nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature Film

When it is time for the Chinese gaokao, a two-day national college entrance exam, the entire country comes to a standstill. For nearly ten million high school students, this exam not only determines where and if they get to study but the fates of their entire families as well. Like so many others, Nian has been single-mindedly preparing for the exam, cutting everything else out of her life. When she becomes the target of relentless bullying, fate brings her together with small-time criminal Bei. An unlikely friendship is formed, but before they can retreat into a world of their own, both are dragged into the middle of a murder investigation that will change their lives forever.

A box office triumph in China, Better Days is a portrait of an oppressive society in the guise of a gripping fairy tale love story. Grounded in a young woman’s struggle with pervasive, insidious school bullying, the story expands into an unexpected tale of allyship and love. Lead by striking performances from Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Lee, Better Days continues to surprise and engage audiences around the world.

Starring: Zhou Dongyu, Jackson Yee, Yin Fang Huang Jue, Wu Yue, Zhou Ye

Director: Derek Kwok-Cheung Tsang

Runtime: 135 minutes

Genre: Drama, POC, Romance, Subtitled

Year: 2020

Country: China

Language: In Mandarin with English subtitles