From this year’s main program at the Cannes Film festival, comes the latest masterpiece from the great Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing. A grand epic portrayal of the young workers at small family-owned textile factories.
He can easily be compared to the American documentary master Frederick Wiseman in his grand epic portrayals of Chinese institutions and societal life. From 2014 to 2019, he recorded 2600 hours of footage in the textile region of Zhili, Zhejiang province. Condensed into 3 hours and 30 minutes, we encounter young Chinese individuals working 10 to 15-hour shifts at sewing machines in small family-owned textile factories. He is a fly on the wall as the youth sew at a furious pace, argue, flirt, negotiate wages with the boss, exchange insults, fight, laugh, cry, and dream. Bing is not seeking to document injustice or the exploitation of young labor. He wants to understand who these young people are and what propels them forward in life. It's a slice of fascinating Chinese reality.
«Youth (Spring) is a rare window into a world of life and work that might be specific but has clear echoes in scenarios the world over.»
– Dave Calhoun, Time Out –
Wang Bing (b. 1967) is a Chinese filmmaker often referred to as one of the most important directors in documentary filmmaking today. His debut film, West of the Tracks (2002), a nine-hour-long epic, was a major success and won several awards. Since then, many of his films have premiered at festivals in Venice, Cannes, Berlin, and Locarno. Youth (Spring) is the first part of a trilogy.
This film is part of
Original title 青春 (Qingchun)
Country China, France
Director Wang Bing
Screenplay Wang Bing
Producer Vincent Wang, Sonia Buchman, Nicolas R. de La Mothe, Mao Hui
Runtime 3h 32m
Age limit 12
This film is in competition for the Audience Award.