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People Mountain People Sea

A sort of horror film where the terror stems as much from the crushing despair and pervasive corruption of working-class China as from the murder at the center of its plot, People Mountain People Sea is a story of vengeance set in China's wild Southwest, where brutality can be the norm rather than the exception. Director Cai Shangjun expertly modulates the film's growing dread and wretchedness with carefully choreographed long takes and stunning cinemascope vistas. Applying the austere observational style and sociological preoccupations of Jia Zhangke to a storyline that might suit an adrenaline-fueled Park Chan-wook film, Cai's second feature is a disturbing glimpse into the dark heart of Southwest China's industrial revolution.

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