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Summary

Filmed on a shoestring budget in the city of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, this deceptively simple first feature perfectly illustrates a Chinese saying, "the clothes enter before the person." A young tailor finds his life improving in a variety of ways when he, innocently at first, starts wearing a policeman's uniform left unclaimed in his family's laundry shop. Diao Yinan cleverly layers metaphors without elaborating but the sly humor and undemonstrative narrative style allow the viewer to decipher the many secrets and lives being lived in contemporary Chinese society. Shot on video (adding a grainy, gritty look), this accomplished work typifies the style of the next generation of emerging Chinese filmmakers.

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