Blind Shaft
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A pair of murderers cover up their crimes via the archaic working conditions of coal mining in China in this award-winning psychological drama from director Li Yang. Blind Shaft centers on two men who have a grisly scheme: They persuade their victims to work in a local mine, plot their "accidental" deaths, then pose as the relatives of the dead men to collect their meager compensation. But when one of the killers starts to feel sympathy for their next victim, an ambitious young man, he listens to his conscience instead of his amoral co-conspirator. Blind Shaft won the Silver Bear at… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fresh, stark and consistently uncompromising, Li Yang's Blind Shaft is an exceptional Chinese film noir."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Makes for gripping, merciless drama."
‑ Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times
"As a thriller, it's a pretty solid affair -- and there's no getting away from how unsettling the tone is."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"a spare and spine-tingling exercise in pure Hitchcockian suspense"
‑ Don Willmott,
"The staccato, noirish film is proof, however, that China has no shortage of filmmaking talent."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"While the lack of a musical track, energizing editing and visual variety makes Blind Shaft tedious viewing at times, the story is strong enough to sustain interest."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Unfolds as fast and mercilessly as the way Song and Tang approach their victims: It sideswipes us."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"An auspicious first feature; although relentlessly benighted, it is nevertheless beautifully filmed and well-acted."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"A disturbing morality tale that questions how far one will go to survive under such conditions."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Depicts a way of life in China that I have no way of verifying but that I have to assume is relatively accurate. Either way, it's a decent film, not great but good enough."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"Engrossing because of its amazingly well-documented milieu, which German-trained writer-director Li Yang filmed on location in the northern provinces."
‑ Ellen Fox, Chicago Tribune
"Following the story is like walking down a mine shaft. Even with a weak headlamp, you kind of know where it's going, and it can't be good. But follow it you do, thanks to Yang's relentless, verite-style filmmaking."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"A descent into the hellish depths of one of those many recently privatized coal mines under China's new flirtation with the market economy."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
"This crafty little character piece keeps you guessing. If that wasn't enough, it also gets in some social commentary."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The disparity between our mental rhythms and the script's gets in the way of ingesting what Blind Shaft has to say about unchecked opportunism."
‑ , Orlando Weekly
More reviews for Blind Shaft on Rotten Tomatoes