Movie Review: Old Stone struggles to make drama out of China’s insane auto-accident laws

Getting hit by a car will ruin your day in any country, but it may be considerably more dangerous in China. Last year, an article on Slate asserted that accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists there frequently prove fatal—not because the initial impact kills the victim, but because the motorist deliberately runs over the person again, sometimes more than once. The reason, the writer claims, is simple and practical, albeit horrific: Chinese law requires only a single payment to the family in the case of wrongful death, whereas injuring someone severely could mean paying their medical bills for many years to come. It’s just plain cheaper to kill, so some drivers make sure they get the job done. judges this phenomenon to be “unproven,” though some Chinese citizens clearly believe it, and Old Stone, the feature debut of director Johnny Ma, tries to build a narrative around …

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