por - Short Reviews
21 Jul, 2016 10:15 | Sin comentarios

*** Masterpiece  ***A Must See  **Worth Seeing  * Has a Reedimg Facet ° Worthless

maxresdefaultBy Roger Koza

The Iron Ministry, J. P. Sniadecki, China-EE.UU., 2014 (***)

Any film about present China is also a forecast for a potential global future; whatever happens in that immense and over-populated territory —where a form of socioeconomic organization not related to the democratic experience and still depending on a Central Committee associated to the word ‘Communist’— becomes an excluding sign of the 21st century: Asian Capitalism. J. P. Sniadecki’s fascinating obsession with the country is that of an ethnographer, of one who mingles with the locals and learns their language while he observes. This time this is not an acrobatic sequence-shot across the whole area of a public space, as in his mesmerizing People’s Park, but a permanent tour through the claustrophobic halls of numerous trains, “a renovated public transportation system,” as one of the characters informs. Sniadecki conceptualizes trains as kaleidoscopic microcosms where different social classes and generations meet, an anthropological hologram of the country. A conversation between some young people at the end of the film reveals the paradoxes and concerns that arise in an over-populated nation going through changes in its mentality. This sequence has a symbolic and dialectic correlation with another sequence towards the beginning of the film in which the director chats with a Chinese follower of Islam and allows us to see the nationalistic indoctrination that characterizes older generations. Here, images are understood as a polyphonic discourse and Sniadecki shows his skill at putting together self-contained and self-sufficient situations. A single man manages to make a whole country talk about its present. Remarkable.

* English version Tiosha Bojórquez

Roger Koza / Copyleft 2016