An anthology consisting of four films by Chinese auteur Zia Zhangke looks at desperate men and women, victims of circumstances created by an order which is underlined by greed and corruption that defines contemporary China. One common element that runs through all the films is murder that the protagonists commit when they are driven against the wall – either involuntarily or premeditated. It’s only the last film that murder is replaced by suicide, but the overriding theme is the same. (This is not a spoiler.)
What makes the anthology pertinent is that all the stories are based on true incidents. A TOUCH OF SIN (2013) is an intensely political film that China wanted to ban.
Look it up on MUBI.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.