Dead Souls (Dir. Wang Bing, 2018)
Date: November 11, 2018
Location: Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum
Address: 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. 90024
Los Angeles premiere, presented as part of the China Onscreen Biennial.
Wang Bing in person!
Wang Bing’s Dead Souls is the latest and heftiest iteration in the filmmaker’s exploration of China’s Anti-Rightist Campaign of the 1950s. A precursor to the Cultural Revolution, the campaign sent untold thousands to “re-education” camps in the Gobi Desert, where they were largely left to starve. Bringing this suppressed history into relief, Wang worked from 120 testimonies to fashion a unique hybrid between oral history, long-format documentary and art cinema.
Please note: Dead Souls will screen in three parts with a short break between each part. TRT: 495 min.
Made possible with support from the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.
Powerful and brutal, a film made to shake.
Mónica Delgado, desistfilm
A monumental achievement: as a documentary, as a humanist tribute and as an effort at historical rectification.
Giovanni Marchini Camia, Sight & Sound
Operates as a sort of culmination to certain points of inquiry in Wang’s work over the past 12 years... the achievement of this immense and elegiac work is monumental in every sense.
Jesse Cumming, Cinema Scope
Extraordinary... A remarkable feat of filmmaking. Continues to enrich, complicate, add nuance and much-needed detail, effectively combating the hegemony of contemporary Chinese history,
Annabel Brady-Brown, MUBI Notebook
Austere yet intimate, Dead Souls focuses on the words of the survivors, rendering with courage and devotion the urgency of their narration... It restores the dignity and beauty of those brave old men we should be thanking for sharing their terrible memories.
Andréa Picard, TIFF