Archive of films Blind Shaft / Mang jing
Hong Kong / Germany
2002, 92 min
Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Chaolu, who has just started working at the mines, descends into the coal pit with Song and Tang. But a violent death awaits him below, and his “partners,” pretending it was a tragic accident, force compensation out of the mine owner as relatives of the deceased. Then they set out to look for another “relative,” and find a 16-year-old villager named Yuan. The film took a 2003 Silver Bear at Berlin, and was honoured at the 2003 Asian Film Festival in Deauville with Best Film, Director and Actor, as well as the Audience Award and Critics’ Prize.
On a frosty winter morning in Northern China, miners descend into their underworld. Song Jinming and Tang Chaoyang are part of the crew, as is Tang’s brother Chaolu who has only been on the job a few days. Down in the pit something unexpected happens: the two men kill Chaolu and then cause a cave-in to make it look like a tragic accident. They report the incident to the local police, thereby forcing the mine owner, who operates his mine in violation of safety regulations and employs people illegally, to pay them compensation as members of the dead man’s family. With the money in their pocket they set out to look for another “relative” in order to repeat the performance. They find one at the local train station where many people wait looking for work. Sixteen-year-old Yuan comes from a village, and after his father failed to return from his job in the mines, he has been forced to leave school and look for work. Tang offers to find something for the kid, but on one condition: he’s got to pretend that he’s Song’s nephew. This time, however, Song is against killing their chosen victim: the trusting Yuan is too young and innocent. A rupture emerges in the alliance.... The film took a 2003 Silver Bear at Berlin, and was honoured at the 2003 Asian Film Festival in Deauville with Best Film, Director and Actor, as well as the Audience Award and Critics’ Prize.
About the director
Li Yang (b. 1959, Xian) comes from a family of actors. He left for Beijing after high school and acted at the China Youth Arts Theatre for seven years. During this period he studied direction and afterward left for Germany. There he studied German literature at the Free University in Berlin (1989-90), attended lectures in drama theory at Ludwig-Maxmillian Universität in Munich (1990-92), and finally ended up at the Cologne Art College for Media to study film direction. At the same time he worked as an actor for German television, and shot documentaries: Women’s Kingdom (1991), Happy Swan Song (1994) and The Wake (1996). He now lives in Beijing. Blind Shaft, which he also wrote and produced, is the director’s feature debut. The film took a 2003 Silver Bear at Berlin, and was honoured at the 2003 Asian Film Festival in Deauville with Best Film, Director and Actor, as well as the Audience Award and Critics’ Prize.
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Horizons - Award-Winning Films|
|Dir. of Photography:||Liu Yonghong|
|Editor:||Yang Li, Karl Riedl|
|Producer:||Li Yang, Xiaoye Hu|
|Production:||Bronze Age Films Co.,Ltd.|
|Cast:||Li Yixiang, Wang Shuangbao, Wang Baoqiang, An Jing, Bao Zhenjiang, Zhao Junzhi, Wang Yining, Liu Zhenqi, Zhang Lulu, Zhao Hong|
|Contact:||The Film Library U.S.A.|