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24 City [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

Price: £15.89 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Chen, Lu Liping, Zhao Tao, Chen Jianbin
  • Directors: Jian Zheng Ke
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Chinese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Drakes Avenue
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sept. 2010
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003S4LEP0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,401 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Chengdu, nowadays. The state-owned factory 420 shuts down to give way to a complex of luxury apartments called "24 City". Three generations, eight characters: old workers, factory executives, and yuppies, their stories are the history of China.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The dismantling of an old military factory and its replacement by the immense `24 City complex' of luxury flats and shopping malls in Chengdu is a perfect image of the socio-economic upheaval in China. It is the old communist credo - first the heavy industry and then consumption - on its head.

As a great admirer of Bertolt Brecht (`Still Life' was inspired by the `Good Person of Szechwan'), Jia Zhang Ke analyzes brilliantly the impact of socio-economic policies on individual lives. He never forgets the human touch, here in the reactions of three different generations linked to the factory.

This factory was in fact a State secret, a hidden military plant for repairing airplanes. Mao had ordered that all military factories had to be hidden in the mountains in Central China. Their workforce had a privileged status for food, drinks, housing or entertainment. It formed a village of its own, nearly totally cut from the rest of the population of the city. This tightly knit group had its own histories of love, jealousy, family splits and losses, of camaraderie and solidarity.
Jia Zhang Ke used professional actors, like Joan Chen, and amateurs in his movie in order to illustrate forcefully the human impact of the demolition of a landscape. The interviews revive reminiscences of crucial incidents that marked people for the rest of their lives. The demolition means sorrow and nostalgia for the old labour force, but also new opportunities for the new generation.
The movie illustrates the monumental gap between the living conditions of the old generation (absolutely no waste of food, clothes or spare parts) and the new one (buying expensive gadgets in Hong Kong).
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There's a peculiar power in this film. It's on the border, balanced between documentary and fiction. Strangely, it works.

It's a story of transition, the movement from Old China to New China. It's disquieting and unsettling. Twee and superficial.

There is some stunning photography, and although some of the dialogues are very powerful, they aren't quite delivered properly sometimes. That may be a lost in translation thing.

But like a country that is rapidly becoming something new as it falls out with Communism, this film forms something new and is itself a product of something Communist and post-Communist: something spontaneous and real, and something contrived to give an impression of greatness.
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It's an interesting mix for a film, which focused on the lives of ordinary people in a former military factory in Chengdu. It's especially interesting for me because I have families there and I knew the tales to be true. The pace is a little slow for me but thaw theme is deeply touching, reflecting the transformation in modern China and some of its unwelcome side effects on people. On the shining surface of China's economic boom, what are the costs?
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May not be the ideal film for everybody, but for someone likes to document and remember all the old times, it is full of inspiration! This is the motion picture derived from the book of the same title, very touching and realistic. Interviews with real life workers are mingled with actors' stories that summarised the fate of those whose voices are unheard. Compare to the book that presents all the transcripts from the interview, the movie is able to convey so much more through the eyes of the interviewees and their saddened voices.
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