Quiero agradecer a MUBI la oportunidad de descubrir a Wang Bing, el documentalista completamente desconocido en España y cuya compasión por estos tres hermanos casi abandonados se refleja en la secuencia final cuando el más pequeño anda abrazado de las piernas de la hermana mayor
This is an honest and thoroughly depressing documentary on three sisters who live on the margins of the Chinese SW border, its one child policy and the welfare state generally. Abandoned by their mother and with a father dependent on work "in the city", they scramble a fragile life in broken shoes with aunts and grunting pigs and goats in a cold (though beautiful) mountain countryside. Another strong Wang Bing film.
It is always a shock to watch a Wang Bing documentary, and i guess you have to be ready for it, to be in the right state of mind. China is still this big unknown, fascinating monster outside of the world of images for decades. Every documentary reveals a part of this world and Bing´s films work as well as a metaphor. Is this middle age or an apocalyptic futur ? Anyway it is another terrifying and nightmarish world.
Towards the high end of a 3 this one, as the local turns universal via the dignified plight of a motherless family in the Chinese highlands. With beautiful shots but little panoramic movement, it depicts a hauntingly secluded milieu. The 'mother' as a substantive symbol is cherished and lamented. Maybe, a little too absorbed for its own good by this microcosm, it is nonetheless moving, respectful and has integrity.
"Alone" captures many quiet moments by children who seems to grow up so fast, doing back-breaking chores on mudbanks & cliffs. Scenes tell me the families are tucked farthest away from Government welfare programs. Are they truly "Alone"? This is an immersion into the lives of rural children whose shoes do not even fit.