THE DITCH 2010
Director/Screenwriter: Wang Bing. Producer: K. Lihong, Mao Hui, Philippe Avril, Francisco Villa-Lobos, Sebastien Delloye, Dianba Elbaum. Cinematographer: Lu Sheng. Production Designer: Bao Lige, Xiang Honghui. Editor: Marie-Hélèene Dozo. Cast: Lu Ye, Lian Renjun, Xu Cenzi, Yang Haoyu, Cheng Zhengwu, Jing Niansong.
In his first dramatic feature, director Wang Bing, best-known for his epic documentary WEST OF THE TRACKS (2003), vividly recreates the brutal conditions at the Jiabiangou labor camp in the Gobi Desert, where some 3,000 intellectuals were sent during the Anti-Rightist Campaign beginning in the late 1950s. Digging the eponymous ditch, the prisoners labor at the very edge of human endurance. They seem resigned to death, until a woman appears, searching for her husband and inspires some of them to plot an escape. With its emphasis on sensory details like the incessant, blinding desert sun and the slurping of the thin gruel on which its characters subsist, THE DITCH is an intensely visceral experience about a period of Chinese history still rarely discussed today. – Tom Vick
35mm, color, Mandarin with English subtitles, 109 min.
This program has been made possible with funding support from the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies.
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Billy Wilder Theater
Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards)
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets: $10 online. $9 general admission, $8 for non-UCLA students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required) if purchased at the box office only. Free admission for UCLA students (current ID required); free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office until 15 minutes before showtime, or the rush line afterwards. Online tickets available at www.cinema.ucla.edu/calendar; click on the individual program.
Parking: Museum parking lot; enter from Westwood Blvd, just north of Wilshire. $3 flat rate after 6:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays and all day on weekends.
Information: www.cinema.ucla.edu, 310.206.8013
UCLA Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90024