Probing Into the Black Hole of Poverty

The mining accident turns out to be a planned murder, and the marriage is an abduction in disguise. Extreme poverty provokes and exposes the dark side of humanity. Director Li Yang explores in Blind Shaft, his first niche film, humanity’s “black hole.” The movie was a major success, winning dozens of awards at international film festivals, including the Berlin International Film Festival, Taiwan’s Golden Horse Festival, and Hong Kong International Film Festival. A few years later, Li’s Blind Mountain was screened in competition in the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In his movies, Li honestly confronts the moral decay induced by China’s economic transformation. 

About the Films

Directed by: Li Yang

Blind Shaft
The story takes place in a coal mine in Henan. Song Jinming and Tang Zhaoyang have deliberately murdered many innocent people, just to get the compensation money from the mining company. Their scams remain undiscovered, as miners are at the bottom end of social spectrum—their lives are of no value. This film was like a presage of the 2007 Chinese slave scandal, which took place a few years after the film’s release.

Blind Mountain
Bai Xuemei, a college student, is abducted and sold as a bride to a mountain village in Shaanxi Province. All her attempts to escape are futile. Although the villagers know the truth, they remain apathetic. Many years pass, Bai gets rescued. However, her life is already stolen from her.