Release dateOctober 19, 2014 (2014-10-19) (Rome)
May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15) (China) WriterJinglong Han, Yujiao Li, Ang Xu CastWang Gang, Bing He, Tongsheng Han, Hui Liu, Guangfu Li, Tiezeng Mi GenresThriller, Drama film, Crime film
12 citizens trailer 1
12 Citizens (Chinese: 十二公民) is a 2014 Chinese suspense crime drama film directed by Xu Ang. It was shown at the 2014 Rome Film Festival on October 19, 2014 and was released in China on May 15, 2015. The plot is based on and heavily references the plot of Twelve Angry Men. The major changes in the plot are changes brought forward and made more appropriate for a Chinese audience.
Chinese film 12 citizens competes for main award in rome
On a hot summer's day, 12 male "citizens" undergo a mock jury for a law school's Western law subject. The mock jury need to decide whether a boy is guilty or not of a murder of his father with a knife based on the evidence. The evidence prepared by the students of the course seems airtight and therefore it seems as if the jury will render him guilty of the crime. However, one juror does not follow the consensus and appreciates the nuances and seriousness of the verdict. His motives are unclear but he wants to entertain the thought that there is reasonable doubt about the guilt of the boy. As a result, the evidence is slowly cross-referenced and examined. Conflicts are spurred as a result of their differing personalities and strong opinions. Eventually, one by one, the jurors are convinced that there is reasonable doubt and judge the boy to be not guilty. On the end of the mock jury trial, the jurors are visibly exhausted. The juror who had rebelled and wanted to see the case through is revealed to be a prosecutor of the People's Republic of China.
By May 16, 2015 the film had grossed CN¥2.07 million at the Chinese box office.
On Film Business Asia, Derek Elley gave the film a 9 out of 10, saying it "is superbly written and played."