8.2/10
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2 user 5 critic

Ghost Town (2009)

Fei cheng (original title)
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A remote village in southwest China is haunted by traces of its cultural past while its residents piece together their existence. Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. Tucked away in ... See full summary »

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A remote village in southwest China is haunted by traces of its cultural past while its residents piece together their existence. Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. Tucked away in a rugged corner of Yunnan Province, Lisu and Nu minority villagers squat in the abandoned halls of this remote former Community county seat. Divided into three parts, this epic documentary takes an intimate look at its varied cast of characters, bringing audiences face to face with people left behind by China's new economy. A father-son duo of elderly preachers argue over the future of their village church. Two young lovers face a break-up over harsh financial realities. A twelve year-old boy, abandoned by his family, scavenges the hillside to feed himself. "Directed with scrupulous attention to detail by Zhao Dayong" (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times), Ghost Town is "one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still underexplored) field of Chinese independent ... Written by dGenerate Films

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27 September 2009 (USA)  »

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Ghost Town  »

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User Reviews

 
These lost souls of Zhiziluo struggle to find both spiritual and material solace in a world that has left them behind.
12 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film has a three-part structure:

VOICES tells the story of Yuehan, the pastor of the local Christian church, and his 87 year-old father, John the Elder, a formerly jailed Lisu pastor who was among the first in the region to study with Western missionaries before they were expelled in 1957. Voices exposes the personal rift between Yuehan and his father as well as questions over the past and future of the church.

RECOLLECTIONS is a story about two young lovers faced with substantial cultural and economic obstacles threatening their relationship. The young man, Pu Biqui, must decide whether to leave Zhiziluo for brighter prospects in the city, while his girlfriend faces the possibility of being sold into marriage to help her family with its financial woes.

INNOCENCE tells the story of Ah Long, a twelve year-old boy who lives alone, having been abandoned by this family. Ah Long scavenges the area to feed himself, while still finding ways to amuse himself as a child, even indulging in a traditional Lisu exorcism.


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