Coming to theatres next Friday, January 27:
IDFA, New Directors/New Films, Dubai, True/False, DocAviv, Moscow, Sheffield, Melbourne, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Istanbul
A poetic meditation on the environmental impact of China’s rapid economic development.
Taking a more experimental approach than his past work, the social issue documentarian exposes the ecological and human costs of industry through unsettling tableaux of destroyed landscapes set to Dante’s THE DIVINE COMEDY. Using visually impactful images of the stark borders between verdant fields and neighboring desolation, the filmmaker demonstrates the devastation wrought by dangerous coal mining practices. Occasionally, he inserts naked figures within these hellscapes, but these unnecessary stylistic flourishes carry far less weight than images of miners and their families suffering from their toxic work. While its attempt to merge nonfiction with video art is not always successful, the film’s imagery proves disturbingly memorable.