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Two coal miners float from one occupation to the next, trying to find a victim who pretends to be a relative in order also to get a job. The they kill him in an “accident” and cash in the compensation from the mine. The scheme works fine for them until they meet a young boy who they start liking just a bit too much.
While the film has the neorealistic touch to it that is typical of 6th generation, critical social filmmaking in China, I found it stunningly well composed and directed. It does not show the technical flaws of, say, the early Jia Zhang-Ke pictures, but a very mature approach to introducing the characters, revealing their dimensions slowly and controlledly, and of rolling out the drama and building suspense, mixed with comic relief. You could actually say this is played by the book of narrative, but is feels very natural and relaxed. Great actors an all accounts, brilliant settings that show the desolate reality of large parts of rural China, and the equally desolate lifes a large workforce has to lead. Very good film!
A stunning number of external reviews at IMDB worth checking out.

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