Skip to main content


China / Germany / Hong Kong, 2003 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Li Yang

Song and Tang are coal miners, working under torturous and unsafe conditions. When Tang's brother, Chaolu, arrives for a visit, they convince him to join them in the mine. Deep underground, they kill Chaolu, and manage to cause the mine to collapse just before escaping unharmed. Feigning outrage, they manage to extort compensation from the owner in exchange for keeping quiet about the fatality. With their pockets full of money, the two men set off in search of another 'relative', and soon come across 16-year-old farmhand Yuan. However this time, their scheming doesn't quite go accordingly to plan.

A stunning expose of the darkest side of China's industrialisation program, Blind Shaft is a tour-de-force for director Li Yang, as he made this gritty, verite-style drama without the approval of Chinese officials. Winner of a Silver Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Li Yang's Blind Shaft is a powerful and realistic expenence with a stunning, unexpected twist in its tail.

See also...


This Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection relates the story of Ozaki, a senior Japanese gangster whose increasingly peculiar behaviour is beginning to worry his Yakuza superiors. When Ozaki ... More »


Playfully crossing almost all genres, including thriller comedy, horror and action, this dynamic debut film from Korean hot-shot, Jang Jun-hwan, recalls the deliriously creative work of Jeunet and ... More »


A languid and sensual meditation on love, Blissfully Yours is a sumptuous new offering from Thailand. ... Min is an illegal Burmese immigrant, living in Thailand and in desperate need of a forged ID ... More »


A truly unsettling, visually inventive, stylistically thrilling and quite marvellous diamond in the rough. Woodenhead takes the traditional fairy tale and re-processes it through the minds of ... More »

Lakeside Murder Case

[Lakeside Murder Case], directed by Aoyama Shinji ([Eureka], MIFF 00), is a dark, multilayered psychodrama wrapped around a murder mystery. Probing the ills of the Japanese education system and the ... More »


December 21st, and eldest son Keri has just turned up unannounced to the modest family home in Whangarei, a Kiwi town going nowhere fast, where he grew up. Sharing in the 'festivities' are the ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director