Set in Guangzhou, largely in and around a single apartment, The Crossing is a beautifully drawn portrait of everyday life in a family affected by unemployment. Though the underlying theme is how personal initiative can get you out of economic difficulties, the movie never forces the message, instead relying on well-drawn characters for its emotional effect, without any spurious "exoticism". Dealing with a problem that continues to plague contemporary Chinese society, and was memorably dealt with by Li Shaohong's Beijing-set Happiness Street (aka Red Suit, 1998), the movie focuses on the Hong family, three of whom are jobless since the bankruptcy of the state-owned companies they worked for. The elder son, Quan (Wang Weibo), asks a friend to find him a job; his pregnant wife, Yanping (Ju Xue), struggles to work even though her health is poor; and pretty younger daughter Sufen (Wu Yue) decides to leave the city to work as flower grower. Meanwhile, the father, Hong Qiang (Gao Ming), runs around trying to help his family.It's a gentle, wonderfully observed film (whose Chinese title comes from the ferry pier near their home) that deals with ordinary family values, the importance of mealtimes together, and shared responsibilities. Ju is particularly good as the daughter, and Gao impressive as the elderly father who only wishes the best for his kids.