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The Fourth Brother

Xu Tong

Release year: 2013

Run time: 86 mins

Film type: Documentary


The Fourth Brother, a pickpocket. Half of his life has been spent in prison. Inside, he has resorted to self-harm multiple times, avoiding severe punishment. Upon release, everything remains the same. In the summer of this year, business is slow, and Fourth Brother idles away his days. As winter arrives, business becomes even more dismal, forcing him to return to his hometown. Initially planning to traffic some drugs on the side, an unexpected incident involving his associates attracts police attention, leading to widespread arrests. "Fourth Brother" is a dark documentary that reveals the harsh reality of survival in the obscure corners of human nature, outlining the complex and distorted inner lives of its characters.


Director biography

Xu Tong, born in Beijing in 1965. In 1983, attended the Journalism and Photography programme at the Communication University of China. Xu currently resides and works in Beijing. He made documentaries "Wheat Harvest," "Fortune Telling," and "Shattered" collectively referred to as the Nomad Trilogy. Subsequently he completed the documentaries "The Fourth Brother" and "Cut Out the Eyes." He has participated in numerous domestic and international film festivals, receiving awards. In 2011, he was awarded as the "Cultural China Person of the Decade" by the Oriental Morning Post. In 2013, the novel "Treasure Island" was published by the Yangtze Literature and Art Publishing House.