|“Wang Bing sits at the pinnacle of the Chinese documentary groundswell.”|
–The New York Times
“Like Frederick Wiseman, Wang is a lofty filmmaking doc deity who moves in mysterious, glacial ways, but one who sometimes performs miracles.”
–The Hollywood Reporter
YOUTH (SPRING) is a documentary driven by the thrum of industrial sewing machines — just like the lives of the young garment workers it portrays.
The town of Zhili, about 95 miles from Shanghai, is a center for the children’s garment industry. Workers in their teens and early twenties come from surrounding provinces to live in sparse, trash-strewn concrete dorms in the same buildings as the small factories where they spend their days sewing leggings, shorts, fluffy skirts, and jackets with Mickey Mouse hoods.
A remarkably intimate documentary filmed over five years, YOUTH takes us into these independent workshops — many on a street named Happiness Road. Relationships form and fall apart. Young women fend off their co-workers’ advances. Managers and employees engage in intense negotiations over piece-work rates. Unexpected pregnancies throw couples and their families into turmoil. There are fights over shared washrooms, decisions over whether to stay or quit and go home, and many, many meals of take-out noodles.
Co-presented by Bay Area Chinese Culture Salon