2008. China. Zhang Chi. 98 min.
Saturday, January 23, 2010, 4:00 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
2008. China. Written and directed by Zhang Chi. With Luo Deyuan, Huang Xuan, Zheng Luoqian, Li Chen, Gong Qiya. In Zhang’s wise, visually poetic, and wonderfully acted debut, set in a poor mining town in western China, three distinct stories revolve around a father and his two children. When the attractive daughter is accused of an affair with the mine manager, she loses the respect of the workers and her devoted boyfriend; her brother dreams of being a singer, but after an unforeseen stint in prison he reluctantly heads into the mines like his father before him; and their father finally reaches retirement, only to spend it looking for the long- lost first love who left him many years before. Like the industry that plunges deep below the delicate but scarred countryside, The Shaft plumbs its characters’ seemingly stoic surfaces to unveil the turmoil of emotions and desires beneath. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 98 min.