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Dong (Institutional Use)

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

China's greatest living filmmaker Jia Zhangke (PLATFORM, THE WORLD) travels with acclaimed painter Liu Xiaodong from China to Thailand, meeting everyday workers in the throes of social turmoil.

Liu Xiaodong is well-known for his monumental canvases, particularly those inspired by China's Three Gorges Dam project. In DONG, Jia Zhangke visits Liu on the banks of Fengjie, a city about to be swallowed up by the Yangtze River. The area is in the process of being "de-constructed" by armies of shirtless male workers who form the subject of Liu's paintings. Liu and Jia next travel to Bangkok, where Liu paints Thai sex workers languishing in brothels. The two sets of paintings are united in their subjects' shared sense of malaise in the face of the dehumanizing labor afforded them.

Jia takes Liu's work as a point of inspiration for his own cinematic innovation. Produced as a companion piece to STILL LIFE (Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival), DONG stands on its own as an aesthetically provocative exploration of the documentary form. Blessed with the director's signature compositional beauty and humanism, Jia's vision of China is "concrete and explosive" (Jean-Pierre Rehm, Cahiers du Cinema). Dong exemplifies the cinematic mastery that has earned Jia the distinction of being "the planet's most excitingly original filmmaker" (Scott Foundas, LA Weekly).

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Product Details

  • Directors: Jia Zhangke
  • Writers: Jia Zhangke
  • Producers: Chow Keung
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: dGenerate Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B003ZUYHGK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,962 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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By thoma4jm on November 16, 2010
Here's what Shelly Kraicer had to say about Dong in Cinema-scope, while also discussing Dong's companion piece, Still Life:

As Jia maps it, cinema does not divide neatly into fiction and documentary.Dong creates a subjective world, as much inside the mind of the artist Liu as outside in objective space. Still Life digs deep to reveal an underlying reality, mobilizing sophisticated formal strategies to create images of truth. These same strategies demand--or, rather, construct, during the process of watching--viewers who are ready to watch, absorb, and feel this vision. It is a vision of a man-made hell, of the monumental and limitless destruction left behind by a society rushing to tear up its foundations and gut its history. And it is a vision of embodied resistance--an individual, physical resilience that can spark an impossible, miraculous, but tangible hope in a world that seems to offer none.
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