7.1/10
1,223
14 user 62 critic

Er shi si cheng ji (2008)

Change and a city in China. In Chengdu, factory 420 is being pulled down to make way for multi-story buildings with luxury flats. Scenes of factory operations, of the workforce, and of ... See full summary »

Director:

5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shijie (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An exploration on the impact of urbanization and globalization on a traditional culture.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Taishen Cheng, Jue Jing
Still Life (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Zhou Lan, Sanming Han
Ren xiao yao (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Wei Wei Zhao, Qiong Wu, Tao Zhao
Zhantai (2000)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang
Xiao Wu (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Hongwei Wang, Hongjian Hao, Baitao Zuo
I Wish I Knew (2010)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Focuses on the people, their stories and architecture spanning from the mid-1800s, when Shanghai was opened as a trading port, to the present day.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Yindi Cao, Hsin-i Chang, Dan-qing Chen
Tian zhu ding (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Four independent stories set in modern China about random acts of violence.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Yi Zhang, Jing Dong Liang
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young woman is kidnapped and sold to a villager in the mountains.

Director: Yang Li
Stars: Lu Huang, Youan Yang, Yuling Zhang
Mang jing (2003)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »

Director: Yang Li
Stars: Qiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang
Wuyong (2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

About people around fashion and clothing industry in China.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Ke Ma
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Hao Dali
...
Su Na
Edit

Storyline

Change and a city in China. In Chengdu, factory 420 is being pulled down to make way for multi-story buildings with luxury flats. Scenes of factory operations, of the workforce, and of buildings stripped bare and then razed, are inter-cut with workers who were born in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s telling their stories - about the factory, which manufactured military aircraft, and about their work and their lives. A middle-aged man visits his mentor, now elderly; a woman talks of being a 19-year-old beauty there and ending up alone. The film concludes with two young people talking, each the child of workers, each relaying a story of one visit to a factory. Times change. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 March 2009 (China)  »

Also Known As:

24 City  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During a press conference at the 61st Cannes Film Festival for the film, Zhangke Jia, Joan Chen and Tao Zhao observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the 2008 devastating earthquake in China. The film was shot in Chengdu, in Sichuan province where the earthquake struck. See more »

Connections

Features The Home Song Stories (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepless Tonight
Lyrics by Zhu Hai
Composed by Meng Weidong
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Living For The City
9 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Zhang Ke Jai has(at least to me) grown substantially since "The World", able to leave some of the melodrama behind and let his characters and the landscapes speak for themselves. "24 City" is a beautiful film, both relevant and moving in the ways "Up In The Air" wishes it were.

A factory in Chengdu, China that has been in operation for generations is being closed down to make room for a upscale high rise apartment building called "24 City" ironically named after a poem about harmony. We follow a series of interviews with former factory workers about their lives in and around the factory.Some of the interviews could have been shortened or illustrated visually instead of having us just watching talking heads speaking over silence, but that is my personal preference.

It could be argued, by not re-creating their lives Jai gives his subjects a sense of dignity, and creates an intimacy between them and the viewer that would be otherwise lost. For the most part I would agree, though in honesty, I did get anxious more than a few times during some of these discussions. Jai's subjects at first seemed to be almost rambling inconsequentially, but as the film goes on, their statements become enmeshed in each other and the film as a whole, and intricately articulate how the factory for generations was their entire world, romantically, socially, philosophically, and culturally.

Some of the workers had their first fights there, their first loves, some moved their whole families on the promise of work, while others left their families behind, and suddenly this community which has sustained them all this time has disappeared, moved by forces beyond their control. Part of the film is documentary, but some of the interviews are "fictional" and feature actors.

I had trouble telling the difference between those who were actors and who were actual workers, but the mixture between the authentic and the dramatic only serves to highlight the contrast between the promise of worker's solidarity and justice and the realities of changing economic priorities. Jai's "The World" offered us the best metaphor for the globalized melancholic that I've yet to see, that of an amusement park masquerading as the greatest architectural achievements of humanity, while those who toil in it are increasingly alienated from any sense of "authentic" culture, themselves, and each other. That film itself, however was not as compelling as it's ideas.

In many ways "24 City" and so I am told Jai's similar, "Still Life" continue this series on the changing face of China, and the "real" people caught up in this global gentrification. What made me look at "24 City" as something other than just a clever polemic was a baffling scene of a girl skating to a soft, bubbly, trance like electronic song. The girl skates in circles, and the music plays and we just observe her, and the song continues, as the camera floats off looking across the city and the mammoth building rising up into the skyline. I don't know what if any purpose this scene had to the rest of the film, but it was lovely. Equally startling were the huge crowds of workers, by the hundreds in the film's first scenes, that are as overwhelming as the CG throngs of countless soldiers and orcs from "The Lord Of The Rings" epic battle-scapes. In those moments Zhang makes his cinematic eye, rival and better his(at least for me)binding interest in social realism.

Realism especially of the socially progressive variety is not my cup of tea (to put a borderline pathological aversion mildly), but "24 City" made, if not a believer, than a fascinated viewer out of me. If globalization has to be "hot button" of contemporary art, if there must be sad-sack post-modernist which stylistically bite the hands that feed them, if the classical Marxist themes of alienation, class, and gentrification must persist on into the next decade, we could all do worse than to see them filtered through Zhang's warm humanism (another term I would usually avoid).

It's not a thrill a minute, and there is no George Clooney smirking to enjoy, but "24 City" is rewarding, intimate, and oddly sensual, which few politicized movies, and even fewer documentaries, seem capable of doing these days. This is the first Jai I enjoyed, and makes me interested to visit the rest of the oeuvre.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?