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.