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Nominated for Best International Film at the 2021 Academy Awards!


When it is time for the Chinese gaokao, a two-day national college entrance exam, the entire country comes to a standstill. For nearly ten million high school students, this exam not only determines where and if they get to study but the fates of their entire families as well. Like so many others, Nian has been single-mindedly preparing for the exam, cutting everything else out of her life. When she becomes the target of relentless bullying, fate brings her together with small-time criminal Bei. An unlikely friendship is formed, but before they can retreat into a world of their own, both are dragged into the middle of a murder investigation that will change their lives forever.


A box office triumph in China, Better Days is a portrait of an oppressive society in the guise of a gripping fairy tale love story. Grounded in a young woman’s struggle with pervasive, insidious school bullying, the story expands into an unexpected tale of allyship and love. Lead by striking performances from Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Lee, Better Days continues to surprise and engage audiences around the world.


"Deeply moving." — Variety


"An emotional wallop. Don’t think, just close your eyes, and jump in." — San Francisco Chronicle

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    135 minutes
  • Language
    Mandarin
  • Country
    Hong Kong
  • Director
    Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang
  • Screenwriter
    Lam Wing Sum, Li Yuan, Xu Yimeng
  • Cast
    Zhou Dongyu, Jackson Yee
  • Cinematographer
    Yu Jing-Pin
  • Editor
    Zhang Yibo
  • Music
    Varqa Buehrer