The latest epic work of observational nonfiction from Wang Bing furthers the filmmaker’s ongoing chronicle of the economic, social, and personal upheavals happening across a transforming China. Deepening the intimacy with which he captures communities of people living amidst financial struggle and toiling for little money in exploitative conditions, Youth (Spring) is a remarkable account of rural migrant workers employed in textile factories in Zhili, a town outside Shanghai. Over the course of five years, Wang follows various groups of people, most of them in their twenties, as they labor over their clothes-making, interact in the cramped dormitories where they live after hours, bargain (often fruitlessly) for better wages, and create emotional bonds and relationships with one another. As the title suggests, this film is specifically about the lives of the young, forcefully and humanely depicting—with its director’s customary patience and unassuming formal rigor—the consequences of the country’s rapid growth on the minds and bodies of a new generation of workers. An Icarus Films release.
All NYFF61 documentaries are presented by:
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- Interview: Wang Bing on Youth (Spring) (2023)
- The Film Comment Podcast: Youth Spring (Cannes 2023)
- Interview: Wang Bing on Bitter Money (2017)
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