» » August 15th (2008)

Short summary

Based on a real life event, a young Chinese woman boards a bus with her boyfriend to head home to meet his parents. What was supposed to be a joyful holiday turns unpredictable when a pair of countryside crooks hijack their bus. Traveling through China's dangerous mountain passes, the passengers must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own safety.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Wafi

    This film is supposedly based on a real event and my caution is NOT because I disliked the film. However, the content is very adult and shocking and only an insane parent would let kids see this excellent short film. That's because not only do you see some physical violence but a rape also occurs on camera. It's not super-graphic and is done about as tastefully as they could, but this is sure not something you want your kid seeing.

    However, despite all these caveats, I liked the film very much because it had a lot to say about human nature. Two dirt-bags take over a bus using knives and hold everyone hostage. Later, one of the punks rapes a woman on board and only one person among the many passengers tries to stop this. Everyone else--including the lady's boyfriend, do NOTHING! What happens next is profoundly sad but interesting--I'd rather not say more, as it would take away from this remarkable film's punch.
  • comment
    • Author: blac wolf
    ABOUT the film AUGUST 15th ~ The controversy is not at all about whether or not a person is entitled to write and direct a rape scene, but is about the indented message of the film--in this case the suggestion that the filmmaker "used truth for the sake of sensationalism" to power the passions of her fans. But the problem is more complicated than this. The act of rape, (of terrorism) is as old as the world itself, and every epoch has had its own brand regardless of the names of perpetrators or their political color and agenda. The menace of this type of weapon is not an issue on which the world can afford a double standard. Yet, no matter how violent an act is, no matter how bloody it is, however unjustifiable it is, however irresponsible it is, the definition of terrorism has become speculative and relative. In this context, it should come as no surprise when after deputizing rape in the film, August 15th, the act is described by one opinion group as "sensationalism" and by another is considered "self-defense." The very nature of civilization excessively glorifying violence conflates the moral mandate and duty at stake. Therefore, to make this tactual presence felt, the filmmaker concentrated on one notable event--a fixed point in time--where particular characteristics corresponding to a series of events mark the beginning of a subdivision that is itself subdivided by age. On one hand, the root of the film systematically shows the genetics of terrorism, and on the other it enhances social passion as the general sense. The basic aesthetic distance between those who hurt feelings in the act of terrorism is found by revealing that an enemy is not only the person who actually perpetrated an act of enmity but also one who aided and abated or glorified such acts.
  • Credited cast:
    Bian Tao Bian Tao - The Middle-aged Guy
    Zhao Xinxi Zhao Xinxi - Robber #2
    Lu Cai Lu Cai - The Boyfriend
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Tingyi Meng Tingyi Meng - The Girl
    Shaoshi Qu Shaoshi Qu
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