Friday, May 17, 2013


Luo Lanshan, Zhao Tao, Jia Zhangke, Jiang Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Li Meng
The Wenzhou train collision reappears in the film
With the film's sensitive subjects even foreign viewers are reminded of the Foxconn incident
Jia Zhangke and his wife and star Zhao Tao
courtesy of

The Jia Zhangke directed A TOUCH OF SIN was selected for the 66th Cannes Film Festival as the Mainland's only film in competition. Two days ago it premiered in Cannes, the audience and the media's opinions of the film were polarized. Some said that modern China under the cameras of Jia Zhangke was shocking and praised his courage; some said that the film was too long and too bloody and violent to watch.

A TOUCH OF SIN's story connected four Mainland news items, its massive amount of violent and bloody scenes was rare among Mainland films. Jia Zhangkei's earlier film STILL LIFE was "China in transition". Some described his new film A TOUCH OF SIN as "China style explosion", the murder and suicide scenes made an impact as a direct depiction of social reality.

In the film were bloody news stories that happened to civilians. Jiang Wu blew away an account's head with a shotgun, Wang Baoqiang robs and kills, and the female lead Zhao Tao's blood murder scene left deep impression with the audience. A TOUCH OF SIN even touched on sensitive subjects like the Foxconn sweatshop and Wenzhou train crash. Even when foreign viewers saw the worker suicide they could easily make the connection to the Foxconn incident.

After A TOUCH OF SIN's Cannes media screening, some reporters questioned whether the film would be able to pass Mainland inspection due to its massive amount of violence and sensitive subjects; in addition the film did not have a "dragon seal" (Chinese films in overseas film festival competitions all have "dragon seal" to indicate passing inspection and in competition without any violation). They were suspicious that A TOUCH OF SIN has not passed inspection and worried that Jia Zhangke competed in violation of Mainland rules. However, the authorities have said that the film has already passed inspection and received a permit. Because Jia Zhangke was still editing a day or two before the film festival, the "dragon seal" was not placed in time.

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