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neumu
Saturday, April 19, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Blind Shaft cinematronic
  director

Yang Li

cast

Yi Xiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang, Jing Ai, Zhenjiang Bao, Sun Wei, Jun Zhao, Yining Wang

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  With its depiction of poverty, desperation, duplicity and organized corruption, "Blind Shaft" is hardly a good advertisement for Asia's long-ballyhooed Workers' Paradise. It's something more valuable: a gripping, incendiary mix of human drama, social commentary and B-movie grit from, of all places, Communist China. As this overpopulated country incorporates elements of a free-market economy, citizens who relied on the caretaker government are scrambling for sustenance. And all rules are off. In "Blind Shaft," Song (Yi Xiang Li) and Tang (Shuangbao Wang), two amoral coal miners, travel to illegal mining sites to find a patsy and perpetrate a risky, morbid scam calculated to earn them considerable sums of money via extortion. Because they need to keep the authorities at bay, the underhanded characters that run the mines are perfect targets for a swindle. In the tradition of film noir, writer/director Yang Li suggests that the greed and violence that rule the lives of Song and Tang may be their undoing. The settings — desolate mining camps with treacherous caves prone to collapsing, filthy bunkers where the miners dwell, crowded urban areas with unsavory types roaming the streets — are dark and depressing, which lends to the overall sense of malaise. Grime aside, "Blind Shaft" is a sharp, taut piece of hyperrealism.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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