“Petition – The court of the complainants”, directed by Zhao Liang, is a unique testimony about China today. Since 1996 Zhao Liang has filmed the “petitioners”, who come from all over China to make complaints in Beijing about abuses and injustices committed by the local authorities. Gathered near the complaints offices, around the southern railway station of Beijing, living in most cases in makeshift shelters, the complainants wait for months or years to obtain justice. Peasants thrown off their land, workers from factories which have gone into liquidation, small homeowners who have seen their houses demolished but received no compensation… All types of cases are represented. Faced with the most brutal intimidation from the local authorities, the complainants who stubbornly continue despite everything find that their hopes are often vain. Zhao Liang has accompanied several of them, particularly a mother and her daughter, whose full story we follow over ten years. A film shot right up to the start of the Olympic Games in direct contact with realities, showing the persistent contradictions of China in the midst of powerful economic expansion. —Cannes Film Festival
It's kinda tricky to say the film is only focusing on the victims or how they get victimized. Because everything and everyone is moving forward--the city, the people, the emotion and their ideologies. Whether the result is good or the other way around. Trains and camera as agents of change to provoke and to transport the characters.
I. An impulse to action sings of a semblance… Mamma Roma, Pasolini’s story of an
The Boston Festival of Films from Iran opens tomorrow and runs through January 29 and, in his overview for the Phoenix, Peter Keough opens
Xu Xin’s 6-hour testament video, Karamay, which I saw at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October, works forcefully