24 City (image 1)

“24 City is eloquent testimony to a China that is vanishing with each swing of the wrecking ball.” — Mary Corliss, Time

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

24 City 2008

Er shi si cheng ji

Directed by Jia Zhang-ke

Jia Zhang-ke’s (The World, Still Life) doco about a Chengdu military factory becoming a luxury apartment block. “Eloquent testimony to a China that is vanishing with each swing of the wrecking ball.” — Time

China In Mandarin and Shanghainese with English subtitles
107 minutes 35mm

Director

Producers

Jia Zhang-ke
,
Ichiyama Shozo
,
Wang Hong

Screenplay

Jia Zhang-ke
,
Zhai Yongming

Photography

Yu Likwai
,
Wang Yu

Editors

Lin Xudong
,
Kong Jinlai

Music

Hanno Yoshihiro
,
Lim Giong

With

Joan Chen (Gu Minhua)
,
Lv Liping (Hao Dali)
,
Zhao Tao (Su Na)
,
Chen Jianbin (Zhao Gang)
,
Jiang Shanshan
,
Chen Rui
,
Zhai Yongming
,
Yang Mengyue
,
Liu Xiangquan
,
Luo Gonghe

Interviewees

He Xikun
,
Wang Zhiren
,
Guan Fengjiu
,
Hou Lijun
,
Zhao Gang

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, Vancouver, San Sebastian, London 2008; Rotterdam 2009

Elsewhere

Jia Zhang-ke continues to be the filmmaker whose work tells us more – and speaks more eloquently – than any other about the vast upheaval of contemporary Chinese society. “Shot in Chengdu before the earthquake, Jia’s new film is a masterly combination of fact and fiction. The fact: a once-secret military hardware factory and its workers were moved deep inland in the late 50s to protect them from a perceived Soviet threat. Now an aeronautics plant, it has shed many staff and is moving to a greenfield site, yielding its prime location to a luxury flats/shopping mall development called ‘24 City’. Jia explores the old site as it’s demolished and talks to former and present workers about their experiences. The fiction: four of the workers (three women, one man) are played by actors. The words they’ve been given amplify the human cost of what the workers went through: forced relocations, broken families, political U-turns… Jia once again humanises China’s modern history – and turns it into poetry.” — Tony Rayns, London Film Festival