Beijing Bicycle, the story of two strangers thrown together by a stolen bicycle providing an intriguing look at how the new economy has redrawn class lines in contemporary China premieres in Geneva at the Smith Opera House on Thursday, July 18.
Cui Lin's shy yet stubborn Guei considers himself lucky. He has a place to live (with a friend in an old compound with small quarters for working people). Even better, he has landed a job as a messenger that provides him with a uniform and an impressive silver mountain bike that will become his once he has earned 700 yuan, which is about $85.
A determined worker, Guei will earn this sum in little over a month, yet by then he will have discovered how mean-spirited city people can be. For instance, he's summoned to the gym in a luxury hotel and is forced to shower before he can enter, only to discover the hotel expects him to pay for it. Then just before the bike is to become his (after which he will split the delivery fees instead of having to give 80 percent to his employer) it is
stolen. His boss will take him back if he finds the bicycle.
Rated PG-13, for some violence and brief nudity, Beijing Bicycle is in Mandarin with English subtitles. The film will be screened July 18, 19, 20 and 21. Show times are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. All seats on Thursday are $3.
In conjunction with the Finger Lakes debut of this film, The Smith invites patrons to a free food tasting courtesy of Kyo Asian Bistro before Saturday night's screening. The Bistro, a relatively new restaurant in Geneva, offers a blend of Thai, Japanese, Indian and Indonesian cuisines. Sample an exotic dish or two as prepared by their chef on the premises before enjoying this powerful and moving story of success, power and greed in a changing country.