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164 Ratings

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks - Part 3: Rails

Tiexi qu

Directed by Wang Bing
China, 2002


9 hour long film that details the slow decline of Shenyang’s industrial Tiexi district, an area that was once a vibrant example of China’s socialist economy. This third part narrows its focus to a single father and son who scavenge the rail yards in order to sell raw parts to the factories.

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Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks - Part 3: Rails Directed by Wang Bing
A clock might tell us the time, but it also reminds us of the pressures, problems and economic trappings of its keeping. In this moment, Wang gives us so much: the young man is crying because his father is held prisoner . . . ; the silent observation also signals the futility of time in relation to incarceration without sentencing, as well as how it bears upon the unofficial incarceration of poverty.
April 10, 2018
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Wang Bing uses the camera not only to record history, or rather history-in-the-making, but to write history. West of the Tracks is a cinematic document that, despite its running time, needs to be seen. It is not a beautiful film. You will look for beautiful frames in vain. It’s an ugly film, it is not aesthetically pleasing. But neither is the subject matter. What Wang Bing shows shouldn’t and cannot be made aesthetically pleasing. It’s a simple document that asks to be taken as it is; raw, brutal, ugly.
May 18, 2017
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When Wang arrived on the international festival circuit in 2002 with Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, a nine-hour portrait of three declining state-owned factories in northeast China, his voracious documentation felt like the ideal redress to the scarcity of art cinema grappling with China’s modern-day predicament.
July 03, 2016
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