A Touch Of Sin, Zhangke Jia. 2013
By Ali Tenenbaum
If a movie is completely derivative does that make it invalid? Not in this case. This is a western meets Tarantino meets Road Warrior. But they all add up to a splash bang in Zhangke Jia’s singular clear voice. He takes on four independent stories of intense violence in modern day China and covers a lot of ground. The director says mouthfuls about the issues that face this behemoth of a country with visual commentary on suicide, poverty, wealth and prostitution, to name a few. Scenes are breathtaking, bloody, and heartbreaking and some are just simple conversations that leave you captivated. China has a lot to answer for if it’s up to this director.
The violence can be overwhelming (though it’s not gratuitous and does serve the stories) and neither grandma nor the kid will get it.
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