The Ditch (Jiabiangou)

It recounts the harrowing story of life at one of Mao’s camps, at the end of the fifties, where ‘rightists’ were sent to be ‘re-educated through labor’.

Three Sisters

The masterful new documentary from Wang Bing (West of the Tracks) is an intimate, observational portrait of a peasant family who ekes out a humble existence in a small village set against the stunning mountain landscapes of China’s Yunnan province. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Father and Sons

Father & Sons, which is both a cinematic and a photographic work, follows the miserable day-to-day existence of Cai, who left the Chinese countryside in order to work in a factory in Yunnan, and his two sons. While Cai works nights in the factory, the boys share the only bed in the four-square-metre room where they live. – Agenda Magazine

‘Til Madness Do Us Part

Director Wang Bing casts an understanding and non-judgmental eye on the inmates of a decrepit Chinese mental hospital in this eloquent and emotionally impactful documentary.

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks

Filmed over the course of two years between 1999 and 2001 and details the slow decline of Shenyang’s industrial Tiexi district, an area that was once a vibrant example of China’s socialist economy. With the move towards other industries, however, the factories of Tiexi have all begun to be closed down, and with them, much of the district’s worker-based infrastructure and social constructs. Over 9 hours long, the film consists of three parts, “Rust,” “Remnants” and “Rails.”