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In his arresting final film, Hu Bo follows a string of characters struggling against injustice – and dreaming of escape
Hardly anyone smiles during An Elephant Sitting Still’s four-hour running time – and when they do, every smile is bitter. A burning fuse-wire of injustice and despair runs through this formidable debut feature by Hu Bo, who killed himself aged 29 shortly after completing it in 2017.
Adapting from his own short story, Hu compiles a kind of befogged Chinese Magnolia, following multiple characters in an industrial city, all of whom have fallen foul of someone else’s selfishness. Teenager Yu Cheng (Peng Yuchang) stands up to the school bully on behalf of a mate accused of stealing the latter’s phone; a classmate (Wang Yuwen) is having an affair with the vice-dean; a jaded neighbour is being forced out of his home by his own children; and the bully’s petty thug brother (Zhang Yu) is honour-bound to avenge him.
Swedish minister calls for Michel Sidibé to step down after report alleging harassment and favouritism at agency
The Swedish government has announced it is to withhold funding to a UN agency until its director resigns in a row over his “dysfunctional leadership”.
UNAids, which spearheads the global fight against Aids and HIV, will receive no further funding until its executive director, Michel Sidibé, stands down, said Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation and climate.
Researchers think differences in hair follicle shape may increase risk of condition
The world’s first genetic study of people with acne has raised the prospect of new treatments for those with severe cases of the skin condition.
The study of almost 27,000 people, including 5,602 with severe acne, identified genetic differences that were more common in people with the skin condition. Scientists found that many of the genetic variants influenced the formation of hair follicles, which was previously an unknown risk factor for the condition. The researchers think that differences in the shape of hair follicles may make some people’s skin more prone to harbour bacteria, creating the conditions for acne.
Amanda Cox reportedly got lost at Edinburgh infirmary after visiting newborn son
A new mother was found dead at a Scottish hospital hours after going missing.
Amanda Cox, 34, from Peebles, in the Scottish Borders region, did not return to the maternity ward at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Monday following a visit to see her son at the neonatal unit. That night she was found collapsed after a five-hour search.
The agreement would most likely seal the votes Nancy Pelosi needs for the House gavel but limiting the power of her team.
Voters in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh ditch holders of two unique ministerial jobs
India’s only dedicated “cow minister” has been dumped in state elections, ending a controversial tenure during which hundreds of the sacred animals starved to death or were poisoned in state-run shelters.
Otaram Dewasi, the first head of Rajasthan’s cow ministry, was turfed out on Tuesday when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) was thumped in the western desert state and two other key regional polls.
Arconic tells public inquiry that other materials were responsible for spread of the fire
The manufacturer of the combustible panels wrapped around Grenfell Tower has claimed other materials were responsible for spreading the fire that claimed 72 lives and said it could have been put out with a handheld fire extinguisher.
Arconic, which made the Reynobond aluminium composite panels which were filled with plastic that burned with an intensity that has been compared with petrol, made a combative closing statement, claiming that it was possible no one would have died if other aspects of the refurbishment had been different.
Witnesses describe panic and shock as gunman opened fire in city’s Christmas market
It was around 7:50pm in the narrow shopping lanes of the historic centre of Strasbourg, the picturesque city known as France’s “capital of Christmas”. Streets were packed with locals and tourists gathered under festive lights shaped like gingerbread men carrying candy-canes.
- Senate to vote on curbing US support for Yemen war
- Government shutdown deadline next week looms
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President Donald Trump is doing a rare interview on daytime cable news tomorrow.
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner interviewing President Trump tomorrow, airing on “Outnumbered Overtime” at 1pm.
House Republicans are using a parliamentary maneuver to block any votes on a Yemen resolution.
They inserted language into the “rule” setting up the parameters for debate on the Farm Bill, which passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin Tuesday. In order to start debate on the popular bipartisan legislation, lawmakers would have to approve language stripping the Yemen resolution of its privilege and allowing it to be bottled up by Republican leadership.
The students of Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, reached global prominence with the March for Our Lives protest. One of the activists explains why the school shooting must never be forgotten
On 1 February 1960, 17-year-old Franklin McCain and three black friends went to the whites-only counter at Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina and took a seat. The humiliation of growing up black in the south had left the teenage McCain contemplating suicide. Having spent the previous night chastising the older generation for their failure to effectively confront segregation, the four young men had talked themselves into an act that was brave, reckless, exhilarating and, ultimately, liberating.
“We wanted to go beyond what our parents had done,” McCain told me almost four decades later. “The worst thing that could happen was that the Ku Klux Klan could kill us … but I had no concern for my personal safety. The day I sat at that counter, I had the most tremendous feeling of elation and celebration. I felt that, in this life, nothing else mattered … If there’s a heaven, I got there for a few minutes. I just felt you can’t touch me, you can’t hurt me. There’s no other experience like it.”