We the Workers - Cinéma du Réel: International Documentary Film Festival

凶年之畔

Research output: Creative and Literary Works in Non-textual Form (RGC: 42, 43, 44, 46, 47)44_Performance and participation in exhibits

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Detail(s)

Original languageChinese
Media of outputFilm
Size174 minutes
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Conference

Title39th Cinéma du Réel: International Documentary Film Festival 2017
PlaceFrance
CityParis
Period24 March - 2 April 2017

Abstract

From 2009 to 2015, Huang Wenhai follows the efforts of labour activists and lawyers who are defending workers’ rights, not without some risk to themselves, in several regions in China. Showing the same perseverance as them, he alternates public moments and private scenes in the flats of those workers who are now sacrificing their family life. Initially focused on the daily routine of Peng Jiayong leaving his Guangzhou apartment for the Haige Labour Centre, the portrait opens out into a broader, more frantic story as the pressures, arrests and violence impede his actions. The temptation of heroism – as dangerous as the allure of despair – comes at a high price: “You think yourself a hero, but you’re too impulsive!” comments Jiayong’s director. The drive to educate does not always bear fruit: “The workers give up, they let themselves be trampled on, and that’s their fault!” Class consciousness seems dulled in the workers of the “world’s factory”, where we catch a passing glimpse of their working conditions (striking shots inside a workshop manufacturing golf clubs, and of a quashed uprising at a bag factory). Just as Wang Bing portrays, with each new film, the budding concept of the individual in modern-day China, Huang Wenhai (his cameraman on Three Sisters) reveals and supports the birth of collective action stripped of an ideology that long stifled it. (Charlotte Garson)

Bibliographic Note

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Citation Format(s)

We the Workers - Cinéma du Réel: International Documentary Film Festival. HUANG, Wenhai (Director); Zeng, Jinyan (Producer); WEI, Shiyu Louisa (Producer); ELLIS-GEIGER, Robert Jay (Composer); CHAN, Cheuk Wah Charles (Other). 2017. Event details: 39th Cinéma du Réel: International Documentary Film Festival 2017, Paris, France.

Research output: Creative and Literary Works in Non-textual Form (RGC: 42, 43, 44, 46, 47)44_Performance and participation in exhibits