In eschewing interviews, Chung Kuo—Cina differs markedly from Joris Ivens’s 763-minute China-shot documentary behemoth How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976), but the reason for Antonioni’s tactic is clear. He trusts the testimony of the camera-eye to tell him something that no vetted and overseen interview will. Barbato later provides a final disclaimer, drawn from a Chinese proverb: "You can depict a tiger’s skin, but not his bones. You can depict people’s faces, but not their hearts.
January 05, 2018