24 City. 2009. China. Directed by Jia Zhangke. Screenplay by Jia Zhangke, Zhai Yongming. With Joan Chen, Jianbing Chen, Lü Liping. 35mm. In Mandarin, English subtitles. 112 min.
In an enormous factory building that is being converted into luxury apartments, three generations of workers give testimony about communal life in what was once a state-owned munitions factory. In this hybrid “fictional documentary,” witnesses’ stories and memories are relayed by a potent blend of amateurs and well-known actors, adding compelling layers of artifice to the process of remembering.