Passport Series 2017

Have a Nice Day / Hao ji le (China)

This cynical animated thriller unfolds in an anonymous industrial city in southern China, where Xiao Zhang (voiced by Zhu Changlong) steals a bag of 1 million yuan to pay for his girlfriend to repair botched plastic surgery implants. But there's an entire cast of characters who are also after the money, and the plot twists and turns through a zippy 77 minutes as cars crash and blood is spilled in desperation. Have a Nice Day, director Liu Jian's second feature, was banned by the Chinese government this summer from playing at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and it's not difficult to anticipate why while we are whirled along on this pulpy, exuberant ride. At the heart of this stylish, utterly controlled escapade is a vicious indictment of greed and corruption in modern China.

"Liu Jian's animation Have a Nice Day is at once a bloodthirsty genre thriller; a political statement about China, globalization and capitalism; and a vibrantly witty piece of postmodern pop art. In other words, it's like no Chinese film you've ever seen." (Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily)

"The film's colorful palette is a spot-on evocation of China's neon-sleaze cityscapes, the voiceover acting is superb, and the sharp script offers a fresh take on materialistic obsession in today's not-so-red China." (Travis Jeppesen, Artforum)