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RUINS OF THE FUTURE
Class and History in Wang Bing’s Tiexi District
In the long opening shot of West of the Tracks, the camera stares from the cabin of a small goods train moving slowly through snow-muffled, abandoned factories. A few ghostly figures flit under a gloomy sky. The only sound in a silent landscape is the creak of its wheels. These three minutes are like a rite of passage into history. We are entering another world, one that has already been destroyed: a ruin of industrial civilization.
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