China's coal mines (Kino Eye)

Submitted by AWL on 6 October, 2020 - 6:30 Author: John Cunningham
Blind Shaft

October 1 was the anniversary of the founding of the “People’s Republic” of China. Regular readers of the Morning Star should turn away now. Blind Shaft (2003, director Li Yang), a film set in a coal mining region of China, depicts the appalling conditions underground and corruption among officials. In 2003 there were 6,700 fatalities (official figures) in Chinese mines.

Two con-men persuade a young lad to join them in the mine, posing as their nephew. After a few weeks they kill him while underground and the mine manager, afraid of an investigation, pays them a large bribe. The next time they try this, they argue and a fight leaves both men dead and their intended victim receiving an unexpected bonus. Although based on a prize-winning novel, the film was banned.

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