Film Screening – People and Their Virtue: “Youth (Spring)” by Wang Bing
October 7 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Shot between 2014 and 2019 and compiled from 2,600 hours of footage, Wang Bing’s latest opus centers on young migrant laborers in Zhili, an industrial town near Shanghai that is home to thousands of privately-run garment workshops. Employing his trademark long takes and fixed camera setups, Wang contrasts routine days of sewing, stitching and scissoring with bustling street scenes and after-hours sequences set in the workers’ cramped living quarters, chancing upon dramas that inevitably emerge from such a repetitive, cloistered and threadbare existence. While Zhili’s privatized structure and incentive-based production model allows for certain advantages over the kind of centrally governed factories seen in earlier Wang films like West of the Tracks (2002), it also leaves employees at the mercy of predatory managers, a situation the director depicts as an endless tug-of-war for better pay. With textbook rigor, Wang captures a new economic reality that, for all it promises, has only fostered a new form of exploitation.