Filmed over the course of two years between 1999 and 2001 and details the slow decline of Shenyang’s industrial Tiexi district, an area that was once a vibrant example of China’s socialist economy. With the move towards other industries, however, the factories of Tiexi have all begun to be closed down, and with them, much of the district’s worker-based infrastructure and social constructs. Over 9 hours long, the film consists of three parts, “Rust,” “Remnants” and “Rails.”
The first portion, “Rust” follows a group of factory workers in three state-run factories: a smelting plant, an electric cable factory and a sheet metal factory. For workers at all three face sub-standard equipment, hazardous waste, and lack of safety precautions. Perhaps even worse, with the declining need for such heavy industry, the factories also face a constant lack of raw materials, leaving the workers idle and concerned for their future. —Wikipedia
Wang Bing (Chinese: 王兵; pinyin: Wáng Bìng) (born 1967 in Shaanxi) is a Chinese director, often referred to as one of the foremost figures in documentary film-making. Wang is the founder of his own production company, Wang Bing Studios, which produces most of his films. Wang’s 9 hour epic documentary of industrial China, Tie Xi Qu was considered a major success. Tie Xi Qu went on to win the Grand Prix at the Marseille Festival of Documentary Film and was shown for the first time in Spain at the Punto de Vista International Documentary Film Festival. Wang’s film, Fengming, a Chinese Memoir, premiered at both Cannes and Toronto in 2007. More recently Crude Oil premiered at the 2008 Rotterdam Film Festival. —Wikipedia
Massive & a stark naked look at the crumbling of an empire within the China's post cultural revolution. The children of Mao here don't yield books and bat, but rather hang on to dear life in the massive Tie Xu district of Shenyang. The casualties of a transformed economy I would admit that it's much better than Antonioni's Chung Kuo China even though potentially there's actually in it worthy of being banned strangely
Almost Loachian elegy for the blue collar class' death knell, evident even in the old socialist guard of the People’s Republic; the underneath of the economic miracle, in the forces of marketization, diversification, modernisation. Rust: the last survivors, their (un)dying solidarity, amid the daily routines of the luminous, smog-filled factories and dilapidated amenities. The raw human expressions of resignation prove more hard-hitting than even Wang’s unfiltered images.