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The Concrete Revolution

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Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week

The Concrete Revolution

Produced and directed by Xiaolu Guo, The Concrete Revolution is an interesting look into the wrenching transition of Beijing from old world city to modern capital of China, as the government prepares for the 2008 Olympics. This short documentary attempts to show the link between the destruction of old neighborhoods and the decimation of old cultural morays and traditional attitudes. It succeeds by interviewing normal people involved in the destruction and construction work, giving us a close and personal view of China in transition from eastern to western desires.


The Concrete Revolution
is a very basic film, made with a hand held camera and one interviewer, apparently Guo herself. The translations hold the viewer at a bit of a distance, or perhaps it is just the differences in our culture. Generally the film takes an even hand, but occasionally viewpoints are expressed more strongly. The sense of desires of the young exceeding traditions of the old makes for as fascinating a paradox as the clear concept of a communist country wanting to emulate western culture for the sake of global profits.

All together, The Concrete Revolution, offers up a myriad of thought provoking conflicts, while giving the viewer a brief, but rarely seen look into the heart of modern China.

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