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24 City2008

  • 4.3
A masterful film from Jia Zhangke, the renowned director of STILL LIFE, 24 CITY chronicles the dramatic closing of a once-prosperous state-owned aeronautics factory in Chengdu, a city in Southwest China, and its conversion into a sprawling luxury apartment complex. Bursting with poetry, pop songs and striking visual detail, the film weaves together unforgettable stories from three generations of workers, some real, some played by actors (including Joan Chen), into a vivid portrait of the human struggle behind China’s economic miracle.

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Official Selection of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.


4 members like this review

The transformation of an old factory into an ultra-modern urban housing/commercial development is the surface subject. But even more striking to me is the way each worker "interviewed" describes how they came to the factory in the first place. These stories tell of great disruption and in some cases tragedy as they relocated from their homes to Chengdu. This provides a rich cultural and historical background to the meditation on the way China is currently changing. The images of the factory's dismantling that punctuate these stories are remarkable, especially a stunningly beautiful five minute sequence right around the one hour, seventeen minute mark.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (4)

108092.small
top reviewer

The transformation of an old factory into an ultra-modern urban housing/commercial development is the surface subject. But even more striking to me is the way each worker "interviewed" describes how they came to the factory in the first place. These stories tell of great disruption and in some cases tragedy as they relocated from their homes to Chengdu. This provides a rich cultural and historical background to the meditation on the way China is currently changing. The images of the factory's dismantling that punctuate these stories are remarkable, especially a stunningly beautiful five minute sequence right around the one hour, seventeen minute mark.

4 members like this review
Cc279ca5188d1e5c5c7138bf6c655173?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0089
top reviewer

Perhaps a bit slow paced for main stream audiences, but an incredibly insightful view into China by someone who is obviously a mature, gifted, and intelligent filmmaker. The weaving together of documentary and acting was both thought provoking and impactful. Also inspiring is the photographer's eye and the lighting. A beautiful, insightful film that I'm very glad to have watched.

3 members like this review

China's transition to capitalism, from collective to individual responsibility, from community to alienation.

1 member likes this review

A remarkably poignant portrait of the enduring humanity of the Chinese people,

in the course of their countries equally impressive economic and cultural evolution.

All of these individual stories were riveting, and several heart-breaking. The pacing

of the film and camera work were in perfect harmony. The deadly air quality was

all too apparent. What a shame!