Presented by Melnitz Movies and the Asia Institute
DIRECTOR: Zhao Dayong
In Mandarin with English subtitles
HDCam, 169 min
Melnitz Movies and the Asia Institute proudly present the west coast premiere of Zhao Dayong's Ghost Town. Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. Tucked away in a rugged corner of Southwest China, the village is haunted by traces of China’s cultural past while its residents piece together a day-by-day existence. Lisu and Nu minority villagers squat in the abandoned halls of this remote former Community county seat, where Cultural Revolution slogans fade into the shadows of the old city hall, and a blank white figure of Chairman Mao gazes silently to the wild mountain wilderness of the Salween River Valley in China’s southwest Yunnan province.
Official Selection, 2009 New York Film Festival
“Ghost Town is one of the most surprising and rewarding films I’ve seen all year, one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still underexplored) field of Chinese independent documentaries.” -Dennis Lim, film critic, Editor of Moving Image Source, New York Film Festival selection committee member
"magisterial...takes on the desultory rhythms of rural stagnation, its rigorous compositions imparting aesthetic weight and meditative scope to everything in its purview." -Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY
"[a] loose, baggy monster of a documentary...I do not expect to soon find scenes to match Ghost Town's mountaintop funeral, the running along after a rowdy exorcism, or the scanning of faces at the town Christmas chorale. His back to prosperity, Dayong finds hallowed ground." -Nick Pinkerton, VILLAGE VOICE
"a miniature epic of the everyday...Its author might be a modern Chinese counterpart to Thomas Hardy, whose intensively observed dramas of rural life have a similar tone of beguiling, melancholy strangeness." -A.O. Scott, NEW YORK TIMES
“I didn’t think there was another Jia Zhangke or Wang Bing lurking out there, but it turns out there is!” – Scott Foundas, Associate Programmer, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis (one ticket per person) at the Melnitz box office the day of the screening, one hour before showtime.
Sponsor(s): Asia Institute
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