This powerful documentary explores the industrial provinces of Inner Mongolia. Just like a one-of-a-kind dream-voyage, the film wanders from coalmines, to an iron smelter, to a steel factory, and then to Ordos, a ghost city. The silence of the dreamlike landscapes is broken by the thundering cacophony of explosions set to create a new entrance to the mine. The iron ore wheezes and cracks as it’s transformed into steel; growling trucks enveloped in black clouds carry their loads to and fro. The sheep farmers and their herds have been driven off the bright green pastures to make way for the ever-expanding mining industry. A mountain paradise is transformed into an industrial zone surrounded by ghost towns of brand-new, deserted apartment blocks. Panoramic shots of the changing landscape and industrial activity alternate with silent close-ups of the workers in their shabby quarters or on their hospital beds. Drawing on Dante’s Divine Comedy, this lyrical yet politically-charged film offers a moving portrait of a modern-day hell.
Nov 13, 18:00
Venice International Film Festival 2015, Best Documentary Award
Yao Chen, Mengchu Hu
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