Three highly educated but unemployed youths, a small ‘ant tribe’, fight for their future from their dilapidated apartment.
An ‘ant tribe’ is a group of highly-educated but jobless young people who live together. The dreams, hopes and realities of contemporary China’s 20-somethings are explored in this youthful film through an ‘ant tribe’ comprised of three of these unemployed youths, two men and a woman.
‘Today and Tomorrow’ is set in an apartment complex in Tang Jialing, a northern suburb of Beijing. Ran Ran, who dreams of being a fashion designer, her live-in lover Jie, and also their friend Wang Xu who, because of his awkward personality, performed his job poorly and was laid off, seem powerless do anything on their own. Without a definite future, the gloomy daily existence of these three is depicted with a documentary-style approach – partially because the cast & crew actually lived on-set during the shoot, trying to recreate the dispiriting conditions as closely as they could.
Director Yang Huilong is known to have been in an ‘ant tribe’ himself for a time. This debut film, to which he devoted all his efforts over a 10 year period, may be an autobiographical work to a certain degree.