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.
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself ... See full summary »
An idealistic Dutch colonial officer posted to Indonesia in the 19th century is cohvinced that he can make the kinds of changes that will actually help the local people he is in charge of, ... See full summary »
Fascinating experimental documentary capturing a unique moment in recent history
This 1993 film by Chantal Akerman resembles some of her best early experimental work from the 1970s, especially 'Hotel Monterey'. This is a truly non-narrative film. Just a series of images from across Russia; often slow, amazingly long tracking shots (probably made from a car, but somehow rock steady), intercut with some long stationary wide angle shots, and shots of people in rooms, clearly staged. There's no dialogue and almost no music, only the incidental sounds of the place being photographed.
The film is clearly a comment on how lost Russia was at that moment in history after communism fell a lifetime of one ideology was suddenly gone, and nothing new had yet taking it's place. We see it in the faces
every person looks like they're waiting for something. The only
problem for me was the length. At 110 minutes both images and ideas, terrific though they were, started to feel repetitive. That said, I'd gladly re-visit and see if a second viewing, knowing now what the style of the film is, would be easier to settle into, and get lost in.
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