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aka ER SHI SI CHENG JI
USA: Cinema Guild
UK: New Wave Films
Cast: Joan Chen, Liping Lu, Zhao Tao, Chen Jianbin, Jiang Shanshan, Chen Rui, Zhai Yongming, Yang Mengyue, Liu Xiangquan, Luo Gonghe
Interviewees: He Xikun, Wang Zhiren, Guan Fengjiu, Hou Lijun, Zhao Gang
Director: Jia Zhang-Ke
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
USA: 106 mins
UK: 107 mins
UK Certificate: U contains no material likely to offend or harm
USA Release Date: 5 June 2009
USA DVD Release Date: 12 January 2010
UK Release Date: 30 April 2010 (Limited Release)
Jia Zhang Ke, widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading filmmakers, follows up his previous STILL LIFE with this seamless mixture of fiction and documentary.
Shot in Chengdu, China before the earthquake, 24 CITY chronicles the dramatic fall of a State-owned munitions factory and its conversion into a luxury apartment complex. In a film both artfully composed and rich in offbeat details, Jia weaves together the stories of three generations of factory workers into a fascinating oral history of China over the last 50 years, and a meditation on the great physical and psychological changes transforming the country. The history of one factory and its workers becomes a microcosm for the entire history of China over the same period from the huge sacrifices and personal upheavals of the early post-revolutionary years to the alienation of today's comparative prosperity.
The line between documentary and fiction blurs as interviews with real workers and ex-workers are intercut with acted stories and actual vignettes of people affected by the closure of the factory and the construction of the apartment block 24 CITY.