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Three-five people. (Vienna In Brief).

THREE-FIVE PEOPLE

(DOCU)

A Li Lin production. (International sales: Li Lin, Val Verde, Calif.)

Directed, written, edited by Li Lin. Camera (color, Betacam SP), Li. Reviewed at Vienna Film Festival, Oct. 26, 2001. Mandarin dialogue, English narration. Running time: 87 MIN.

Narrator: Li.

With: Hu Jian, Chen Li, Tian Bo, Li.

In a fast-food joint in Chengdu, southern China, while awaiting a visa to shoot a short in Tibet, indie filmmaker Li Lin stumbled upon the subjects of this wrenching docu: homeless, heroin-addicted kids as young as 11. The youngsters rip gold earrings off arriving passengers near the bustling North Train Station and run off to feed their drug habits. IA, a Beijing-born Australian, befriended two boys and a 15-year-old girl. She inspired the boys to go cold turkey in a hotel room and tried to obtain the documents to take them to the U.S. -- where she was studying at Cal Arts -- or Australia. Intimate DV-shot effort examines the kids' sordid lives with nonjudgmental candor.

We see them shoot up in a garbage dump, witness an earring snatch, discover the system whereby corrupt auxiliary police demand hush money in the form of one gold earring for every pair stolen, and follow helmet's thwarted efforts to try to improve these kids' lives. Docu fully exploits the versatility of a small camera. Title refers to the number of yuan the dealer-cum-fence must cough up to get kids out of detention whenever they're caught.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Nesselson, Lisa
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Movie Review
Date:Nov 12, 2001
Words:242
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