There is a burgeoning world of great filmmakers you’ve probably never encountered. The problem is that their films aren’t sure bets to receive U.S. distribution, so you never hear about the movies or their directors. But Jia Zhang-ke is a name you should get to know. He’s been making films for about 15 years now, and his constant theme is the dangers of Chinese modernization. As the nation’s economy expands and its people become more westernized, things change. That’s on display more graphically than in earlier Jia films in A Touch of Sin, an anthology of crime stories that owes as much to Tarantino-styled violence as Jia’s own filmography. It’s also reminiscent of Amores Perros, the Alejandro González Iñárritu film from 2000. Showcasing pressure points along China's poverty line, this blistering, captivating film is a grim reminder that progress is not always progress.
Director: Zhang Ke Jia
Producer: Shozo Ichiyama, Xiaojiang Gao, Eva Lam, Jianping Qian, Zhang Ke Jia, Masayuki Mori and Zhong-lun Ren
Cast: Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao, Vivien Li, Lanshan Luo and Jia-yi Zhang