WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION 5
A masterful new documentary from Jia Zhang-ke – "Not only is the 38-year-old director the most prominent Chinese filmmaker of his generation, he also has come to assume the role of witness and conscience in a society characterized by rapid modernization and a growing amnesia." (Dennis Lim, LA Times, 2008)
"24 City" recounts the dramatic and thunderous fall of the state-owned Factory 420, exploring both its physical demolition and its powerful symbolic echo of a half-century of communist rule. Given the name Factory 420 as an internal military security code, the Chengdu Engine Group was founded in 1958 to produce aviation engines, and saw years of prosperous activity. Now abandoned, the factory awaits its destiny. Sold for millions to real-estate developers, it will be transformed into an emblem of market economy: a complex of luxury apartment blocks called 24 City.
Constructed around eight dramatic interviews, punctuated by snippets of pop songs and poetry, along with beautifully-shot footage of the demolition, "24 City" excavates the debris of collective memory and emphasizes the thin boundary between fact and fiction in post-revolutionary Chinese history. It does so by weaving into this oral history three fictional monologues delivered by professional actors. The interviewees represent three generations with ties to the factory: former factory workers, contemporary workers, and their children.
An absolutely mesmerizing experience, "24 City" attempts to understand the complexity of the social changes sweeping across China by observing the impact a half-century of Socialism has had on the Chinese people.