Blind Shaft Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: This film tells the story of two itinerant Chinese miners who risk their lives under dangerous working conditions and develop questionable morals in order to survive. (Kino International)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 90
    Blind Shaft means to leave the viewer dazed, and it does.
  2. 90
    Deftly swings to a spartan, engrossing climax, and the final twists spell out what the murderers are made of and the setting responsible for creating them. It is a true piece of film magic.
  3. A brilliantly spare and poignant tragicomedy that projects such savage self-criticism of China's "economic miracle" that the film has been banned at home.
  4. Reviewed by: Ellen Fox
    75
    The lead actors, Li Yixiang and Wang Shuangbao, are completely believable, sucking us into their casually cruel world.
  5. 75
    Variously been described as a thriller, a muckraking exposé and even a satire -- and its refusal to fit neatly into a genre is only part of why it's so utterly disturbing.
  6. 60
    A little slow for a crime story, and a little obvious with its anti-capitalism message.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 7, 2010
    10
    Initially I was stunned to witness photography taken 700 metres below the ground. Immediately I am instilled with fear and a heightened sense of awareness not to mention pangs of claustrophobia. My emotional balance continues to swing as I question why they have unnecessarily murdered a colleague. These clouds of confusion do not disperse within the Boss's Office or in the bathroom as his ashes are poured down a toilet. Only now am I realising that we are witnessing a couple of fraudsters who force vulnerable strangers to act as family members in order to receive compensation after their "accidental" death. Wow...if not a great premise, a truly fresh one.

    The film encompasses all aspects of their daily routine including regular nods to specific Chinese culture and rites of passage that are considered norms within their densely populated but sparsely financed situation. After watching I felt like I had been educated by a documentary while also being treated to a rich narrative that would not have felt out of place in the pages of a book or in the realms of my imagination. It is for this reason that I cannot mark this film down. Furthermore the ending is truly fitting by subverting the roles and highlighting the fluidity of power. The intended message is delivered in a emotionally satisfying way without pandering to the audience and the anti-capitalists will hold this tale dear to their hearts. I urge filmmakers around the world to match the culture specific focus on show here. 10/10
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See all 3 User Reviews