With a suspenseful plotline that keeps viewers glued to the screen awaiting each new development in this harsh tale of miners and murder in northern China, BLIND SHAFT depicts desperate men who will do anything for money. Controversial in its commentary on China's social problems, with characters poisoned by greed and infidelity having abandoned their families and lost any sense of dignity, the story is anything but simple. Mid-way through, the film it takes an endearing turn that changes the plotline into a true morality tale, which is followed up by a completely unexpected ending.
Two con men, Song (Li Yixiang) and Tang (Wang Shuangbao), have devised a nearly flawless scam. They coerce a man into posing as their brother--explaining that it's the only way they can get him a job in the coal mine--and then they murder him. They make it look like a mining accident, and collect a hefty sum from the mine owner for their loss. Instead of sending all the money home to their school-age children, they spend much of it on prostitutes. When they choose their next victim, Yuan (Wang Baoqiang), a teenage boy trying to earn money for school, they instantly sense that something, this time around, is wrong. Writer-director-producer Li Yang has created a richly layered film with BLIND SHAFT, which was banned in China because it was made without permission from the official film bureau.
An Jing - Actor, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Li Yang - Director, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Bao Zhenjiang - Actor, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Wang Shuangbao - Actor, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Liu Qingbang - Author, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Wang Baoqiang - Actor, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Li Yixiang - Actor, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
Liu Yonghong - Director of Photgoraphy, BLIND SHAFT (2004)
"[A] movie that is a commentary on socialism, a film noir and entirely compelling." - 02/06/2004 New York Times, p.E4
"[A] taut, palpably unnerving thriller....The hand-held cinematography gives the imagery intimacy, while the celluloid gives it velvety texture." - 03/19/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E17
"Yang's film is taut and stylish..." - 05/01/2004 Box Office, p.31
"Director Li Yang spent 50 hours filming in the illegal mines that dot China, adding a palpable edge to proceedings." - 12/01/2003 Uncut, p.150