BLIND MOUNTAIN (road home; mang shan) (2007 CHINA) D/W/P: LI YANG
The clear-eyed talent behind the remarkable BLIND SHAFT returns with this even more impressive peek at a rural China trapped between modernity and it`s ethics of commerce, and traditions and beliefs that most of the developed world had assumed to be long dead. Set in the early 90`s in Northern China, a young unemployed female college graduate (Huang Lu) finds herself sold to a farmer`s son in a remote, poor moutain community. There`s no dramatics, stylistic embelishments or cliched signifiers (and almost no music), just a girl up shit creek with no paddle. Her escape attempts are effortlessly suspenseful and thrilling. So if you have problems with reading any socio-political subtext, just take it as a refreshing spin on exploitation movie standards. Either way, it`s a modern classic. Some of the events are so top-heavy tragic that i found myself laughing in disbelief, but that doesn`t mean i don`t believe. Lin Jong was the Cinematographer. Apparently the domestic Chinese DVD has a very different ending, and was cut to placate the censors. Li Yang has balls, and i look forward to more from him.