At 14:28 on May 12, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake destroyed a large area around Beichuan city, in China’s Sichuan province. Filmmaker Du Haibin arrived ten days later, and started to film this extraordinary documentary of the aftermath.
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Another (high risk?) labor of love for a place so foreign to western audiences. Very valuable document that reveals the uncomfortable relationship between state and individual and community. Ultimately very sad and ponderous.
At the end of this film there is a scene with people selling photos and DVDs to tourists of the damage done by the earthquake. The ruins are in an exclusion zone, so people who cannot see the devastation themselves buy images captured by others. Is that a critique of us as viewers, conceptualized as straining to get as close to the scene for ghoulish purposes? However, the film is thankfully not disaster porn.