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.
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“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.