Youth (Spring)

Wang Bing / China & France / 2023

China's greatest documentary filmmaker was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year for his epic portrayal of life behind the sewing machines in the country's vast textile industry, where young employees flirt, argue and dream of the future.

Wang Bing’s work will stand as a witness not only to China’s modern history, but as an invaluable contribution to the development of modern documentary. His grand new film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year and is set in Zhili in northern China, home to the country’s huge textile industry. An industry that employs over 300,000 people across a huge complex of small sewing centres. The work is manual, but the pace is mechanical – and the chemistry between the young employees is a chapter in itself, and fortunately they take center stage here. They flirt, argue, fight and dream of a future outside the endless, run-down factory complexes. The human tragicomedy is a myriad of small stories according to China’s greatest documentary filmmaker, who himself goes to work from morning to evening with his camera and spends several years on each of his films. We are also screening Wang Bing’s one-hour-long ‘Man in Black’ at this year’s festival.