In OLD STONE, a hard-working cab driver in a bustling Chinese metropolis is plunged into a bureaucratic nightmare when he takes an injured man to the hospital.
Director Johnny Ma's impressive feature debut takes us on an unnerving trip through China’s social strata. For taxi driver Lao Shi, every day of work is a fight for his family’s basic economic survival. One day, swerving his car because his arm is grabbed by a drunken passenger, he accidentally hits a motorcyclist. When the ambulance takes too long to arrive, Lao drives the injured man to the hospital himself, only to discover that he’s now legally responsible for the medical bills. Plunged into a bureaucratic nightmare and faced with financial ruin, he is forced to embrace retribution as his only possible escape.
OLD STONE begins as a carefully observed social-realist drama and turns into a furious, bloody noir that takes us out of the city and onto the dark roads at its outskirts. But even as the film goes into full cinematic overdrive, it does so with an engine that runs on humanism and empathy.
Johnny Ma is an award-winning independent filmmaker. He was born in Shanghai, China and currently resides in Vancouver. Ma attended Columbia University and received a Master of Fine Arts in Directing and Screenwriting. His short films, THE ROBBERY and A GRAND CANAL won the Grand Jury Prize for Student Short at the 2011 and the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival, respectively.