Crime and Punishment (Zui Yu Fa)
ZHAO Liang, China (2007), 122 minutes
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.
On the North Korean border, Chinese military police enforce the law with a heavy hand, leading to moments of harrowing abuse and surreal satire.
Amidst the barren wintry landscape of Northeast China, Chinese military police officers rigidly enforce law and order in an impoverished mountain town. They raid a private residence to bust an illegal mahjong game, casually abuse a pickpocket accused of throwing away evidence, and berate a confession out of a scrap collector working without a permit. The police switch between precise investigative procedure, explosions of violent fury, and moments of comic ineptitude, all captured incredibly before the camera.
A prime example of how independent documentaries are on the vanguard of Chinese cinema, Crime and Punishment is an unprecedented look at the everyday workings of law enforcement in the world’s largest authoritarian society. With penetrating camerawork, Zhao Liang (Petition, 2009 Cannes Film Festival) patiently reveals the police methods used to interrogate and coerce suspects to confess crimes – and the consequences when such techniques backfire. With a cold, objective eye, Zhao’s artistry withholds judgement in this cinematic slice of reality.
Jun 18, 2012, 01:41:46
Number of files