Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2002)

  |  Documentary


Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2002) Poster

The impact of the decline of heavy industry on workers and their families in the Tiexi district of Shenyang, China, at the turn of the 21st century, documented unflinchingly by a fly-on-the-wall camera.


8.6/10
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2 February 2005 | heptaparaparshinokh
10
| Truly unique film experience
It's difficult to write about this film, largely because it's a ten (is that right?) hour film if you watch the three parts as a whole, which is how I saw it - and how I recommend you to watch it. It's also difficult for me to write about it because it's been over a year since I watched the film at at the Vancouver film festival. When I saw that nobody's written a review I was kind of shocked, so I'll do my best to give readers an idea of what this film is about, as I'm sure there's more than few people who are curious about this ambitious, epic documentary. Over the course of the film, you'll encounter a very diverse and interesting group of people living through an extremely difficult point in the history of their district. I remember certain moments in the movie that really hit me hard, after being slowly built up by the slower, but not less interesting scenes that preceded them. The images gave a very objective feeling to me - the camera seemed to be this invisible object moving around within this environment and circumstances with brutal clarity and without any obvious opinion. The cinematography was great, capturing the bleak world of this industrial based community, and showing how its inhabitants transcend the bleakness through various means. Again, it's difficult to know what to say - I'd really like to watch it again - but it stood out to me as being a very important, although sometimes difficult, work of documentary art. If you get a chance, you should check this one out. When is it coming out on DVD? Criterion may want to take a look at releasing in in North America.

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