Official selection of the 2007 Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival.
I'm not usually all that impatient with slow movies but the first huge chunk of this one was a bit trying for me. Stuff like a shot of a guy being told to wait ... waiting for as long as he waits ... and it's kind of a long time in movie-time.
& I don't think there's anything you might not see in a US jailhouse/on a US 'beat' for about the first half of the movie - although you might not see this kind of thing on reality TV or in documentaries without a hidden camera. (IE violence in interrogation.)
After awhile I began skipping ahead a bit.
in the 2nd half, the human/dramatic interest ratchets up considerably as scenes less predictable/basically static come to the fore with a twists turns and unexpected departures from the 'script' as you might say, including some lovely singing! And in this part of the movie there are some wonderful some instances in which you become grateful for the director's reliance on long takes.
So I kind of ended up loving the movie after all. If you are tempted to turn it off just skip ahead!
A great documentary that fairly portrayed each characters arc throughout the story.
unreal. how zhao got access to such footage is beyond me.
Having lived for many years in China I could not believe the footage of unedited access this film contains. This is the "real" China and is so raw it is completely compelling to watch. I felt a big disappointment though that there was no follow-up with the citizens in the film, and that it is purely from a policeman's point of view. A BIG WARNING TO VIEWERS: at the end of the film is a very graphic and disturbing scene of a dog being killed horribly.