24 City

"Good"

24 City Review


An intriguing hybrid of fiction and documentary, this film chronicles the dismantling of a notorious factory in Chengdu to make way for a new luxury community. It's skilfully assembled, but a bit dry for Western audiences.

As Factory 420 prepares to close, people recount their experiences. Born in the 1930s, He Xikun is the eldest former employee. Guan is a former security boss remembering the factory's role in the Korean War. Hou recounts her emotional experience in Chengdu. Dali (Lu) walks through the site to start a new job. Gu (Joan Chen) remembers her colleagues' efforts to find her a boyfriend. Zhao (Chen Jianbin) grew up in the factory and is now a TV presenter. And Su (Zhao Tao) is a young woman moving forward.

This is a minutely observed film that feels almost like industrial art, capturing both the humanity as well as the machinery, oil and smoke. It's impossible to tell whether the person talking to the camera is a real person or an actor, as all of them seem authentic. And their stories are packed with terrific details and remarkable settings, as these people talk about the factory's history as a secret supplier of military equipment. The film is cleverly shot and edited, with witty touches and telling emotions. Although it's also rather loose and unfocussed.

Despite being mainly a collection of talking heads, the film has a cheeky tone that makes it watchable. Along the way there's plenty of humour alongside some harrowing stories, such as watching a woman relive the day she lost her young son while en route to her factory job. And with interviewees born between 1937 and 1982, we get a remarkable look at "progress" over a span of time.

As it continues, we also see the machines being removed and the buildings being either revamped or demolished to make way for the vast new 24 City. The reality is that many of these people came to work in the factory to support their families back home in the countryside, but today the situation is reversed: life in the cities is hard. Which isn't a truth limited to China.



24 City

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th March 2009

Distributed by: FilmsWeLike

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jia Zhang-Ke

Producer: Jia Zhang-Ke, Zhai Yongming

Starring: as Xiao Hua, Lu Li-Ping as Hao Dali, as Su Na, as Song Wei-Dong

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.