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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- Wang Bing: Filming a Land in Flux The director of West of the Tracks discusses his upbringing between rural and urban worlds, his film education and his documentary practice. Epic portraits of China’s changing face, and of lives transformed by the gravitational pull of socio-economic laws.
- Ying Qian: Power in the Frame Origins and mutations of the PRC’s independent documentary movement. From vanguard to grass roots, and from passive observation of a country in flux to a politicized, activist cinema, turning its lens onto the workings of power.