The framing device didn't work for me, but perhaps I don't know the Divine Comedy well enough to catch the nuances. I also agree with the criticism that since the workers do not speak, they are reduced to types. However, the film does capture nature of their work in great detail. It is true that there are many films highlighting the destruction of the planet, but I'm not sure presenting more details is a bad thing.
The long, still camera shots let the viewer really examine the subject; focus is on human faces and daily life. Amazingly clear, sharp images; I can't imagine how they got some of this footage -- especially the sections in what must have been near darkness/without permission. The recurring image of the naked man reminds us this is more artistic statement than documentary. Similar to Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi.
Filled with striking and scarringly disconcerting images of vandalised nature, satanic mills and redundant modernity, this is a mournful tribute to a maligned migrant workforce and a sobering reminder that nothing comes cheap. Zhao Liang's potent doc lays bare the environmental devastation caused at an Inner Mongolian coal mine. Rich, deep and eventually very moving.I recommend others go and watch this film, awesome
Focusing on the environmental bleakness of China’s mining industry, this well sculpted cinematographic look into the lives of the workers who are consumed by this tenacious work is skillfully nagging and haunting. Overall this film is intriguing and succussfully portrays life in provincial Chinese farm and mining towns that have been turned over from green landscapes to profit driven, big business projects.
Reminiscent in its pacing and visual scope of the first film I watched on MUBI, ‘Dead Slow Ahead,’ and the films of Geoffrey Reggio, but this takes us out of the metaphysical realm into the depths of the earth and the utter devastation that results in a nation leaping into the Industrial Age. The specter of ‘Ghost Cities’ built for no one, at such enormous cost in human suffering function as tombstones to progress.
When the synopsis states that this movie is “a journey through hell...” it’s not exaggerating. But this hell is real and it should be witnessed. Something about the way it’s cut makes it feel painfully slow. Or, maybe just painful, and slow. It was hard for me not to think of the themes in this movie in a global way— meaning that we all provide incentives to, and reap rewards from, this seemingly foreign experience.
We have met the monster, and you know the rest. Of course you do. A film like Behemoth isn't an intellectual enterprise--its now evocative, now overwrought Dante allusions notwithstanding. It is above all a sensory experience, a hypnotic, grueling, deeply empathetic immersion in other lives, or at least other bodies, being rather chilled and abstract in relation to the psychic lives we assume go on within them.
A documentary on dwindling green meadows and landscape covered by raging dust of mines. Herdsmen have to leave as the meadows disappear. This film illustrates that some industries desire for wealth will stop at nothing. Liang does an good job of bring a cultural problem to the minds of views. However throughout this movie there are many long slow moving parts which make it hard to stay focused.
Despite most of this documentary being shot guerrilla-style and despite its budget, this documentary succeeds wonderfully to tell the story of the abuse that workers at mines in Inner Mongolia are going through, many of whom have died because of the consequences of working in these environments that resemble Hell on Earth.
China produces the most coal yet miners don't get even shower, they rub their bodies with soaked rags. Classical recipe for a powerful state: don't give a fuck about workers. Accredited in the USSR where many major economic feats and works of infrastructure were done by inmates on whom the state spent nothing, who cared if they dropped off when so many remained? I heard Greymachine's "Disconnected" album all through.