Poet On a Business Trip

Poet on a Business Trip

Feature Film


SubtitlesChinese / English

Length103 mins

Director/Scriptwriter/Cinematographer: Ju Anqi

Actor: Shu Hou Xianbo

Producer: Li Zhenhua

Production: Trench Film Group



In the autumn of 2002, a poet who has never been away on a business trip decides to take himself to Xinjiang, 4000 kilometers away. Completely alone, he travels by many different modes of transportation and stays in the cheapest motels, encountering mountains, forests, lakes, deserts, and national borders along the way. Seemingly aimless, he seeks scenic places and prostitutes, and during his solitary and absurd travels, he finds himself constantly shifting between landscapes and bodies. On the road, he composes sixteen poems….

This film was shot in September of 2002, when director JuAnqi accompanied the poet Hou Xianbo on the train from Beijing to Xinjiang, 4000 kilometers away. Ju Anqi served as the sole director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, while Shu played the part of the poet. With very little money and equipment, they used a digital video camera to shoot for forty days whilst they crossed the whole of Xinjiang. After being put aside for twelve years, this low-budget black and white film was finally finished in 2014. The only independent film to come out of Xinjiang, providing an unsentimental yet melancholy glimpse of a country in transition and a mirror for the existential irreversibility of time.