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On the Beat (1995)

About On the Beat

Take crime out of police work, and what’s left is procedures. In the western sector of Beijing, we follow the tedium of police officers. A rabid dog is loose in Guoli’s beat: a gang of police officers hunts it down. Then, word comes from on high to pick up all the dogs in the sector: fear of rabies combines with the dogs’ being status symbols of the nouveau riche. Occasionally a criminal is picked up: someone selling porn, someone running a three-card-monte game. Cops smoke, go to meetings, and hold trainings. They patrol on bicycles and enforce edicts. Guoli works nights. He’s lazy at home, his wife wants him to do more. Is there any more to do?

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