I'm not sure the length is a necessity or an endurance test—but after all, what's my endurance compared to that on screen? I fear that without cinematic discipline, even a monumental subject has trouble filling its own film. Yet it is astonishingly vital when the camera is in the right place at the right time: to catch a confession or a working class universality, or to note how human nature reacts to a rigid system.
With a handheld DV camera Wang films the life inside the factories of a declining industrial district somewhere in China. This film sketches decline in a unique way. It eventually manages to outline particular aspects of China. Industrial, immersive, dystopic and implicitly political.
A monumental achievement! Only long takes can « tracks » in details the ruin of the old China and his consequences for the workers let behalf. Cant believe with a tiny « cheap » DV camera (add a really realistic view) you can do a coliseum picture like this one! (left 5 hours lol!!!)
Massive & a stark naked look at the crumbling of an empire within the China's post cultural revolution. The children of Mao here don't yield books and bat, but rather hang on to dear life in the massive Tie Xu district of Shenyang. The casualties of a transformed economy I would admit that it's much better than Antonioni's Chung Kuo China even though potentially there's actually in it worthy of being banned strangely
“Great leaders past and future. Lead us to a grand new age. Oh! Guide us forward on our way. Onward to a grand new age. Sing The East is Red! Arise! The future is in our hands...” --- “ Let us tell a tale of spring. Reform and opening, great prosperity. Guide us forward on our way. Lead us to a grand new age. Hold the banner high. Here begins the future... Here begins the future!"
"Almost undeniably the greatest documentary I've ever seen; almost undeniably the greatest film I've ever seen." I was about to say the exact same thing. I haven't seen a film that is as complete or as comprehensive. Crude Oil doesn't even come close.