Kino Video | Release Date: February 4, 2004
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 5 Ratings
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6
MeiOct 17, 2004
Blind Shaft is in some ways a swipe at the wrenching changes taking place in China. But it doesn't go half way as far as it could and should. The focus on the criminal behaviour of two miners who kill to fraudulently obtain compensation Blind Shaft is in some ways a swipe at the wrenching changes taking place in China. But it doesn't go half way as far as it could and should. The focus on the criminal behaviour of two miners who kill to fraudulently obtain compensation from mine bosses arguably distracts from the real culprits: the owners of thousands of illegal mines in China with lax safety standards, and the local governments who are in cahoots with them. The real criminals in China are not poor miners trying to make a buck, but the exploitative miner owners who have been reported to cover up deaths caused by preventable accidents, and corrupt local officials preventing the truth to emerge. No one really thinks that miners typically murder unsuspecting colleagues, but it remains to be exposed to what extent the coal mining industry - which produces 70% of China's energy - is run by mafia gangs and local government crooks. Nevertheless, Blind Shaft is a cleverly made and at times funny film that ought to provide an insight into Chinese industry and provoke greater discussion. Expand
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7
SylviaW.May 3, 2004
Disturbing. Well crafted. Interesting to see something realistic about China.
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10
NicoDaFlagburnaDec 7, 2010
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 IInitially 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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