Crime and Punishment

Synopsis: On the North Korean border, Chinese military police enforce the law with a heavy hand, leading to moments of harrowing abuse and surreal satire. Amidst the barren wintry landscape of Northeast China, Chinese military police officers rigidly enforce law and order in an impoverished mountain town. They raid a private residence to bust an illegal mahjong game, casually abuse a pickpocket accused of throwing away evidence, and berate a confession out of a scrap collector working without a permit. The police switch between precise investigative procedure, explosions of violent fury, and moments of comic ineptitude, all captured incredibly before the camera. A prime example of how independent documentaries are on the vanguard of Chinese cinema, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT is an unprecedented look at the everyday workings of law enforcement in the world's largest authoritarian society.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Liang Zhao
  2 wins.
122 min

- Sorry to disturb you like this.

- Not at all.

We know you're busy.

Show them the banner.

You can hang it up from here.

We should take a picture.

- In front of the gate.

- Turn it around.

Raise it higher.

Move over a bit.

- Commander, over here.

- I'm fine here, really.

Principal, you move in a bit.

Let's have a round of applause.

Great. Shall we go inside?

Since you started patrolling

the school, it's been a lot safer.

No more delinquents hanging around.

A police presence does help.

When the cat's away,

the mice will play, right?

But when the cat's there,

they behave.

We're grateful to you

and your officers

for stepping up

your evening patrols.

We're just doing our job.

We've had some great feedback

from both students and parents.

- Better to nip trouble in the bud.

- Right, prevention is key.

And your response time

is impressive.

That's military precision, that is.

As soon as we call, you're there.

Not like the regular police.

Well, we've had years of training.

If I stay up late, the next morning

I notice I've lost a lot of hair.

You're losing your hair?

Especially if I have

to work all night.

I found something that works.

- What?

- Apollo brand shampoo.

- Mine stopped falling out.

- Why's everyone losing hair?

- Lack of sleep.

- Late nights, insomnia, stress...


With this job, you need to relax.

You shouldn't get too wound up.

Otherwise, you'll get insomnia

and lose your hair.

Did I miss any spots?

Just put more

where you think I need it.

Maybe my temples.

I did, and I notice

you're thinning more on this side.

I know.

When did it start?

You mean losing my hair?

After I started working.

Does baldness run in your family?

No, both my parents have great hair.

So it's overwork.

It got really bad last summer

when I was with the coast guard.

After that,

it just kept falling out.

Oh, I thought it started here.

We were just as busy there.

And the tide changes, right?

Sometimes we'd be up at 2:00

or 3:
00 or 4:00 in the morning.

Try Apollo shampoo.

My hair stopped falling out,

and I don't have to use tonic.

It really works.

Where's the body?

There, can't you see it?


That black thing lying on the bed!

- Where?

- He's not in his right mind...

Where's your family?

See, that's the head.

But the head's gone.

Where'd the head go?

I dunno. But that's the mouth.

- Where's your mom?

- I dunno.

- Where'd she go?

- Dunno.

Call her

and tell her to come home.

- Are you drunk again?

- Who?

- You.

- Why would I be drunk?

Because you mistook that

for a dead body.

There's no mistake.

Can't you even tell the difference

between a body

and a pile of blankets?

What are you saying?

You can't tell the difference between

a person and a pile of blankets.

What are you talking about?

Of course that's a person.

Let's call your mom.

Where is she?

I don't know.

Don't you live here

with your mother?

- Yeah.

- She's home.

- Ma!

- What's going on?

Tell them it's Wang Huan.

- Wang who?

- Wang Huan!

He called to report a dead body,

but it was just a pile of blankets.

He's mentally ill!

- Ma, tell 'em he's the dead guy.

- Who's dead?

Not that he's dead,

tell 'em he's the guy... Wang Huan.

- Who's Wang Huan?

- Wang Huan!

Is this the thing with the blankets

again? He was raving all night...

You shouldn't let him drink.

He's not like this

because he's drunk.

At any rate,

he seems better when he's sober.

He kept the neighbors up

all night screaming.

Woke the whole damn building.

- You can't let him drink.

- He was hollering...

Listen, if he keeps making

false reports,

there are legal penalties.

If we're tied up here,

and something serious happens,

who do you think

we'll hold responsible?

Half of our officers are here now.

How much money before I can call?

What do you mean,

how much money?

You reported a dead body

and there isn't one.

Maybe you're drunk, maybe

you're having some kind of episode,

but if you make a false report again,

you'll be held responsible.

- That's right...

- This isn't a game!

You can't call the police for fun.

If you call with another false alarm

that interferes

with our police work,

if something happens

and we're not there,

your mom's in big trouble.

As your guardian,

your mom can be held

legally and financially responsible.

But this guy owes me 50 yuan

and won't pay me back.

Then take him to court.

If you've got an IOU,

take him to court.

That won't cover transportation...


you have to keep an eye on him

and not let him drink so much.

As his legal guardian,

you can be held responsible.

- I can't watch him all the time.

- Then disconnect the phone.

Maybe I'll do that.

This happens

every time he gets drunk.

We can't keep coming out here.

Maybe I'll just have him committed.

We're not babysitters.

Last time, he said he found a bomb.

He was finally getting back

to normal, but now he's drunk again.

Look at all the trouble you cause.

This is a false alarm.

There's no dead body here.


Listen, I don't care

whether you're mentally ill

or having an episode

or faking it or drunk,

but if this happens again,

you'll be examined

by a court psychiatrist.

If he says you're mentally ill,

we'll quit responding to your calls.

If he says you're fine,

we'll hold you responsible

for making false reports.

Then you'll be in trouble.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (English: ; Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский, tr. Fyódor Mikháylovich Dostoyévskiy, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstɐˈjɛfskʲɪj] ( listen); 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. Dostoevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of realistic philosophical and religious themes. He began writing in his 20s, and his first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when he was 25. His most acclaimed works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Dostoevsky's oeuvre consists of 11 novels, three novellas, 17 short stories and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest psychologists in world literature. His 1864 novella Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature. Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoevsky was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends, and through books by Russian and foreign authors. His mother died in 1837 when he was 15, and around the same time, he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which gained him entry into St. Petersburg's literary circles. Arrested in 1849 for belonging to a literary group that discussed banned books critical of "Tsarist Russia", he was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted at the last moment. He spent four years in a Siberian prison camp, followed by six years of compulsory military service in exile. In the following years, Dostoevsky worked as a journalist, publishing and editing several magazines of his own and later A Writer's Diary, a collection of his writings. He began to travel around western Europe and developed a gambling addiction, which led to financial hardship. For a time, he had to beg for money, but he eventually became one of the most widely read and highly regarded Russian writers. His books have been translated into more than 170 languages. Dostoevsky was influenced by a wide variety of philosophers and authors including Pushkin, Gogol, Augustine, Shakespeare, Dickens, Balzac, Lermontov, Hugo, Poe, Plato, Cervantes, Herzen, Kant, Belinsky, Hegel, Schiller, Solovyov, Bakunin, Sand, Hoffmann, and Mickiewicz. His writings were widely read both within and beyond his native Russia and influenced an equally great number of later writers including Russians like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Anton Chekhov as well as philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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