Three disaffected youths live in Datong in 2001, part of the new “Birth Control” generation. Fed on a steady diet of popular culture, both Western and Chinese, the characters of Unknown Pleasures represent a new breed in the People’s Republic of China, one detached from reality through the screen of media and the internet.
The movie is set in the remote Chinese province of Fenyang, and spans the turbulent 1980s by following four performers in the state-run Peasant Culture Group. We see the group evolve from workers that are restricted to approved revolutionary classics that praise Chairman Mao, through performance of Western classics, after China adopts an ‘open door’ policy, and the effects on their lives.
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn’t invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past?