The Shaft (Dixia De Tiankong) - Amazon.com Exclusive
In a poor mining town in western China, the stories of a father and his two children intersect and intertwine, illuminating complicated relationships hidden beneath the community's hardened exterior.
Accused of an affair with her manager, the attractive daughter of the household finds herself spurned by her boyfriend and forced to accept an arranged marriage. Her brother dreams of being a singer, but after an unforeseen stint in prison, reluctantly heads into the mines like his father, who spends his days searching for the wife who left him many years ago. Writer-director Zhang Chi's wise and poetic debut delicately expresses the turmoil of emotion and expectation wrought by a calloused and difficult existence.
"A superb debut, achingly gorgeous, this is a case of caged insiders yearning for the fresh air of free-range outsiders... Graceful camera movements and striking compositions offset the dungeon that controls their life." –IndieWire
"...a meditative examination of the decaying social and economic structure in rural China." -This Week In New York
The Shaft is an official selection of the prestigious, award-winning Global Lens Collection presented by the Global Film Initiative. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
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... the stark melancholia achieves a rare authenticity, perhaps most pointedly manifested in the objective correlative of the mineshaft itself, the dismal bowels of which we only see in two brief and uneventful scenes. The family doesn't abhor mining because it's hazardous or arduous, but because it represents their only career option: It's a Plutonian symbol of universal resignation... The intermittent genius of director Zhang Chi resides in how he juxtaposes this social claustrophobia with scenes of refreshing but elegiac liberation. --Slant Magazine
The first feature from the young Chinese director Zhang Chi, The Shaft
feels as though it were made by a very old soul. Tight and tender, this small family drama is so visually expressive that listening is always subordinate to looking. --New York Times
...a meditative examination of the decaying social and economic structure in rural China. --This Week In New York