As a special sidebar to the 15th-anniversary tribute to The Hubert Bals Fund, The Department of Film and Media presents the New York premiere of Wang Bing’s tripartite nine-hour documentary portrait of Tie Xi, the industrial district in northeastern China. Once the heart of state-run heavy industry, Tie Xi is now a scene of decay, as economic reforms, bankruptcies, relocation, and demolition have left many factories empty and entire communities jobless.
Wang follows the old railway line that bisects the industrial area to interview locals about their precarious situation. In Rust, he spends an entire year with one community as it copes with the disintegration of its village. In Remnants, he portrays children who, with no prospects for the future, still manage to find small pleasures in everyday life. And in Rails, he follows the old railway track past dying factories, visiting the people who have stayed behind.