A touch of sin

A touch of sin

DVD - 2014 | Chinese
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Inspired by four shocking and true events, the film focuses on four characters who are driven to violent ends. An angry miner, enraged by widespread corruption, decides to take justice into his own hands. A rootless migrant discovers the infinite possibilities of owning a firearm. A young receptionist is pushed beyond her limits by an abusive client. A young factory worker goes from one discouraging job to the next, only to face increasingly degrading circumstances.

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LPL_KevinC Jul 24, 2017

A Touch of Sin wasn’t on my radar until I read the New York Times 25 Best Films of the 21st Century and I’m glad I was finally exposed to it. The four stories in this anthology are told back to back and aren’t connected besides the shared theme of struggling to cope with the modernization and growing gaps in social classes in China. Director Zhangke Jia does a wonderful job of slowly building up tension in each of these cautionary tales before they all come to sudden, reactionary and violent ends.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2015

Nursebob' s comment was right on and eloquently. Tales that followed four diverse young Chinese (coal worker, armed robber, hospitality hostess and foxconn worker) who were driven to extreme violence due to moral corruption from "unbearable" social and economical inequality conditions.

PoMoLibrary Jul 15, 2015

From our #80DayRead 2015 Summer Reading Club traveler Nicole: True and sad stories of four different characters in contemporary China. Very shocking and eye opening about violence and corruption.

m
ms_mustard
Jul 08, 2015

compelling enough to keep me watching through the violence.

the final question: "do you know your sin?" there was more than enough to go around.

j
JackamoJames
Jun 08, 2015

verrrrrry slooooooow. 4 stories helps the pace but it just seems a long time to get to the point. Shot beautifully, and acting is spot on. Not a gorey picture but it has its violent moments.
Interesting on how human behaviour is sometimes dealt with and culturally fascinating

j
JackPurcell
Feb 27, 2015

Interesting and well done movie about the human condition.

r
rationallady
Jan 28, 2015

I haven't watched a Chinese movie for years. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Besides showing people reaching their breaking point, I learned a lot about contemporary China.

b
BilboCommins
Jan 05, 2015

Well made, just mostly kind of slow. Lots of build up for little pay off in terms of on screen action. Conversely, pretty draining emotionally. Maybe just too high-brow for me.

n
Nursebob
Dec 12, 2014

“Do you know your sin?!” screeches an opera singer performing the role of a crooked magistrate about to condemn an innocent woman, and as the camera pans across a small crowd gathered in front of the stage their blank looks and empty smiles inform us that his words were directed at a much larger audience. Jia Zhangke’s scathing look at the casualties of China’s economic boom takes the form of four loosely related stories: a lowly miner fed up with crooked bosses and politicians alike decides to mete out his own social justice; a bathhouse receptionist becomes an avenging ninja when an irate customer refuses to believe that money can’t buy everything; a petty crook discovers bullets are the quickest way to get what he wants; and two drifters find employment in a brothel only to discover the grass is just as brown on the other side of the fence. Beautifully controlled despite its underlying rage, Zhangke’s violent opus speaks of the growing disconnectedness tearing at the fabric of Chinese society, not just between the rich and the poor but within the very families that comprise it. Against a barren waste of half-built office towers and grey skies choked with smog his characters strive for some sense of contentment even as they succumb to varying degrees of despair and frustration. It’s a poison pen letter to China’s new elite which nevertheless features some of the most arresting imagery to come out of that country in years; a block of dreary workers’ apartments proudly bears the name “Oasis of Prosperity”, a huge snake slithers across the path of an angry mistress forsaken by her lover, and in a swank nightclub foreign businessmen are entertained by nubile young prostitutes parading in skimpy red army uniforms. And everywhere can be seen religious symbols whether it be a statue of Buddha or a truckload of sacrificial cows. But the old gods packed up long ago, replaced by the new Trinity of Greed, Corruption, and crass Materialism.

Mephistopheles Sep 23, 2014

An excellent film highlighting the social tensions and failures that have come with the onset of capitalism in the (post-)Deng era of modern China.

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