Wuyong (Useless). 2007. China. Directed by Zhangke Jia. In Chinese; English subtitles. 80 min.
Wuyong introduces the viewer to the garment workers who often have no possible means of affording the very products they sew. Jia takes his camera to three centers of clothing manufacturing: Guangdong, Paris, and his own hometown of Fenyang. In the Chinese segments, factory workers struggle to balance the demands of Western culture with their much-treasured traditional culture. Enter activist Chinese designer Ma Ke, who relies upon hand craftsmanship for her garment production—a far cry from the Guangdong sweatshops.