Blind Shaft

Blind Shaft


Reviewed by: David Stanners

Two men working down a mineshaft in rural China pose as brothers. When one deliberately kills the other, the murderer's partner, masquerading as a concerned fellow worker, steps in to screw the mine boss for compensation and the pair take off into town in search of their next victim.

Stumbling across a naïve 16-year-old peasant boy, desperate for cash to finance his education, they take him on, with the same unsavoury plans as before. Their previously amoral and ruthless pursuit of material ends continues, but begins to fray at the edges when the youngster's unblemished morals and straight forward honesty begins to rub off on the pair's conscience.

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This is a simple tale, carrying simple messages. When the greedy duo's personal avarice outstrips their moral rectitude, catastrophic consequences become inevitable. Meanwhile, the young boy's indifference to prostitutes, alcohol and avarice shines credibly through director Yang Li's lens.

The acting occasionally lapses and there is a lack of depth in the script, but then this is adjunct to the overriding message, which is clear and uncompromising.

Grainy and dark in appearance, the austerity of life down the mines in rural China is pinned up for all to see. It's not pleasant and neither are the bosses. Still, the story leaves no doubt about its stance upon individual gain at the expense of others, brazenly slapping unregulated capitalism hard across the face.

Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2003
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Moral parable about greed and deception in rural China.
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Director: Li Yang

Writer: Li Yang

Starring: Li Yixiang, Wang Shuangbao, Wang Baoqiang, An Jing, Bao Zhenjiang, Zhao Junzhi

Year: 2003

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Hong Kong/Germany


EIFF 2003

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