Adapted from a novel by renowned Chinese writer Wang Shuo, The Troubleshooters is a comedy set in 1980s Beijing, about three friends who open a company specialising in fulfilling people’s dreams — even just for one day. Soon they are called upon to stage all kinds of wish-fulfilling scenarios to realise people’s fantasies, as well as trying solve their practical problems. Hilarious and absurd, the film foregrounds fantasy and performance as deeply human practices, particularly during China’s transitional period from a ‘socialist’ to a ‘capitalist’ economy, when old dreams must be reconciled with new realities, and the only way to bridge the rupture between past and present is through the solidarity of farce and laughter.
This film is part of Asia and the Pacific Screens Season Four: Roots & Routes, sponsored by the Australian Centre on China in the World.
Directed by Mi Jiashan 米家山
1988, 110 mins, China
Chinese with English subtitles