The masterful new documentary from Wang Bing is an intimate, observational portrait of a peasant family who eke out a humble existence in a small village set against the stunning mountain landscapes of China’s Yunnan province.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
THREE SISTER immerses us in a world that is rarely seen. Viewers are invited to see lives lived well below the radar. That this world is that of the impoverished denizens of China's Yunnan province is especially important, as it has never been in the Chinese government's interest that we be able peer into this world. Oldest sister Yingying is one of the most fascinating and touching figures in contemporary cinema.
A really wonderful documentary, starting by taking the time to show kids at play with all the real and fake tears, attention seeking, random violence and kindness. We see the hardships of a motherless girl in rural poverty, looking after her two little brothers with no complaint. But then the seemingly endless drudgery is ended by a migration to work and school, as if entering the modern age. Fascinating.
I saw the film at the Busan FF where it is presented this year. This film is incredible, what an amazing picture of nowadays China it gives, without any judgments or any coments, Wang Bing delivers for our eyes an angle that is too much (if not always) forgotten about China. A moving and estonishing view about family, love and changes! A definite must see that really was worth the Venice Orizzonti award it received.
This is nothing special that hasn't been going on in the documentary world for 100 years or more. Perhaps the takes are longer and more lackadaisical, but that's not much of an accomplishment either. I'm disappointed after all the hoopla, I find merely average fare, almost exploitation, concerning rural poverty and three cute kids with colds. Celebrity film culture may account for its renown, it's ok, just ok.
From the first image I sensed that this could be among the best documentary works I’ve ever seen. With every successive frame this sense was confirmed. At its base it’s a movie depicting the ordinary life of children, with a transcendent sense of beauty and compassion somehow captured in every carefully composed shot. Reminded me of the best visuals in a Herzog film, no narration required. Endlessly fascinating.
Real, slow pace then raw. Most of the time stand still camera invites you not to a simple immersion into a remote and harsh environment, but to a reflection on human condition. No matter the setting environment we're in, rural or urban, we're probably, since the youngest ages, just following some culture of survival.