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A Touch of Sin [DVD]

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jiang Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Zhao Tao, Luo Lanshan, Zhang Jiayi
  • Directors: Jia Zhangke
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sept. 2014
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KE2BWT2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,424 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders.

A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer.

A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her.

A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life.

Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.

Mandarin/Cantonese with English subtitles

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is a film about modern China. It is essentially four stories told one after the other that are linked, but they are not inextricably linked like say the plot of `Amores Perros'. Also they are all about acts of violence - that being the common denominator. The portmanteau approach is one that needs careful crafting and to a great extent there is evidence of that here from director Zhangke Jia - who brought us `Still Life'.

The first story for me was possibly the strongest involving localised corruption, naked greed and all the trappings of needing to `save face'. We also have a nice dose of righteous retribution. Other stories involve a drifter, a brothel and also a fair bit of animal cruelty. There is not a lot on show here to advertise modern China as a must go to destination. That said it is very well acted, beautifully shot and clearly well directed. It runs to 130 minutes and I did feel it could have been shorter, but that might be just me. It is Cantonese, Mandarin and a bit of English with ok sub titles.

Hard to say I liked this one, there was so much nastiness and cruelty, but that was the point of the film and at time the observational quality of the film(s) makes it feel like a documentary and at others it is clearly contrived. So a mixed bag on offer here but still a worthy effort and if you like modern Chinese films then you could do a lot worse than this.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Jia Zhangke's gritty, ensemble look at modern China is certainly not for the fainthearted, but certainly is for anyone who wants a visual expose on the underbelly of China's highspeed economic growth, and the nasty reality of those left behind, or not feeling the benefits of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Jia Zhangke's work is based on 4 real life events, the Foxconn Suicides, the Zhou Kehua gun rampage (who possibly is still at large) the Deng Yujiao incident, and Hu Wenhai (an embittered miner fighting corruption), and to those who have spent considerable time in China, is certainly believeable.
As someone who has spoken to people from Shanxi province (a coalmining province in which part of the movie is set) and heard accounts of such corruption, the story portrayed in this film is relatively tame compared to reality.
My comparison of this movie to Pulp Fiction is a relatively shortsighted comparison, designed mainly to attract attention. The truth is, the only similarities are the ensemble nature of the film, and the gritty realities it deals with. Though Pulp Fiction is an undisputed classic, Jia Zhangke's film has a more realistic bent, and is very much it's own film, a work inspired by reality, not other film's preceding it.
A Touch of Sin is an absolute standout piece in modern Chinese cinema, and deserves to be world famous.
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Format: Blu-ray
Don't watch this to cheer yourself up! It's about the people in China who are not the ultra rich we see in the west shopping. Other reviewers have described the stories, but this is about bleak life, hard life for the poor in China. Murder, prostitution and corruption are all in this.

You cannot help but feel sorry for the Chinese poor who are living under the emerging rich elites as the country swings from communism to capitalism albeit still in a police state where the masses are controlled. The 3rd or 4th story for me was utterly heartbreaking: a young guy gets a job in an upscale brothel and falls for a female, pretty sex worker. They realise due to her profession any relationship would not work. Later he serves a patron some fruit and leaves the room, only to pass the young woman he fancied as she enters the room to give oral to the client.

Another scene towards the end was set in a massage parlour: a female receptionist refused a clients sexual advances from a corrupt official. He then proceeded to beat her for what seemed like ages shouting how he could buy. I found this scene really hard to watch.

You will need to concentrate on this but it's well worth a view - if only to show us there is another side to China beyond the glitz of Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai that westerners will experience.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Chinese Director Zhangke Jia is more used to deipcting the affects of the changing Chinese economic dynamic on the unskilled suburban working class and does so here again, although the main theme is violent acts and how their causes and affects impact on both the viictims and offenders.

The four stories interlock and there are many funny as well as moving and shocking moments.

A provocative film that underpins the Director as one of China's fine
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Format: Blu-ray
The first full film from Jia Zhangke I've seen - but I am now urged to watch more, and already have a copy of The World and may pick up Still Life or the Hometown Trilogy. As I said I'm not completely familiar with this auteur's past films as I haven't seen them in full, but this does seem to be more graphically violent than his previous films. There's a lot of surrealism to it which I feel has more of a political edge to it that someone like David Lynch in the West for example. His characters also seem to often be 'in-transit' whether literally or metaphorically it keeps the drama moving forward - the greatest thing about this filmmaker is his efficiency with cinematic language.
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