24 City

"Good"

24 City Review


An intriguing hybrid of fiction and documentary, this film chronicles the dismantling of a notorious factory in Chengdu to make way for a new luxury community. It's skilfully assembled, but a bit dry for Western audiences.

As Factory 420 prepares to close, people recount their experiences. Born in the 1930s, He Xikun is the eldest former employee. Guan is a former security boss remembering the factory's role in the Korean War. Hou recounts her emotional experience in Chengdu. Dali (Lu) walks through the site to start a new job. Gu (Joan Chen) remembers her colleagues' efforts to find her a boyfriend. Zhao (Chen Jianbin) grew up in the factory and is now a TV presenter. And Su (Zhao Tao) is a young woman moving forward.

This is a minutely observed film that feels almost like industrial art, capturing both the humanity as well as the machinery, oil and smoke. It's impossible to tell whether the person talking to the camera is a real person or an actor, as all of them seem authentic. And their stories are packed with terrific details and remarkable settings, as these people talk about the factory's history as a secret supplier of military equipment. The film is cleverly shot and edited, with witty touches and telling emotions. Although it's also rather loose and unfocussed.

Despite being mainly a collection of talking heads, the film has a cheeky tone that makes it watchable. Along the way there's plenty of humour alongside some harrowing stories, such as watching a woman relive the day she lost her young son while en route to her factory job. And with interviewees born between 1937 and 1982, we get a remarkable look at "progress" over a span of time.

As it continues, we also see the machines being removed and the buildings being either revamped or demolished to make way for the vast new 24 City. The reality is that many of these people came to work in the factory to support their families back home in the countryside, but today the situation is reversed: life in the cities is hard. Which isn't a truth limited to China.



24 City

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th March 2009

Distributed by: FilmsWeLike

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jia Zhang-Ke

Producer: Jia Zhang-Ke, Zhai Yongming

Starring: as Xiao Hua, Lu Li-Ping as Hao Dali, as Su Na, as Song Wei-Dong

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.