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Movie Monday: Cop Shop II

Tonight at 8.00pm - 20RMB

Cop Shop II (2011) sees influential Mainland Chinese director Zhou Hao returning after a year to again capture the daily operations of the police station at Guangzhou Railway Station, one of the most chaotic public transport hubs in China. This time the film moves out of the station itself, taking place during the incredibly busy period before Chinese New Year, and following officers as they attempt to keep the square outside the railway station clear to facilitate the flow of hundreds of thousands of passengers returning to their hometowns and families. As well as helping with a constant stream of people looking for advice, food and shelter, this involves the police having to arrest illegal peddlers selling a dizzying variety of goods, move on homeless migrants, and deal with thieves and a man trying to swindle money from travelers.

Shot in Zhou’s usual detached, naturalistic style, “Cop Shop II” presents a fascinating picture of the everyday hustle and bustle of modern China, as well as the desperation and poverty that still exists alongside the wealth of the country’s economic boom. At times humorous and others tragic, the boldly non-judgmental film explores not only the institution of the police force, but the dramatic changes sweeping Chinese society.