Price: $195.00

    Code: 2340

    Directed by Jia Zhang-ke
    2008, 107 minutes
    Purchase: $195 | Classroom rental $125

    A masterful new documentary from Jia Zhang-ke - "Not only is the 38-year-old director the most prominent Chinese filmmaker of his generation, he also has come to assume the role of witness and conscience in a society characterized by rapid modernization and a growing amnesia." (Dennis Lim, LA Times, 2008) - 24 City recounts the dramatic and thunderous fall of the state-owned Factory 420, exploring both its physical demolition and its powerful symbolic echo of a half-century of communist rule.

    Given the name Factory 420 as an internal military security code, the Chengdu Engine Group was founded in 1958 to produce aviation engines, and saw years of prosperous activity. Now abandoned, the factory awaits its destiny. Sold for millions to real-estate developers, it will be transformed into an emblem of market economy: a complex of luxury apartment blocks called 24 City.

    Constructed around eight dramatic interviews, punctuated by snippets of pop songs and poetry, along with beautifully-shot footage of the demolition, 24 City excavates the debris of collective memory and emphasizes the thin boundary between fact and fiction in post-revolutionary Chinese history. It does so by weaving into this oral history three fictional monologues delivered by professional actors. The interviewees represent three generations with ties to the factory: former factory workers, contemporary workers, and their children.

    An absolutely mesmerizing experience, 24 City attempts to understand the complexity of the social changes sweeping across China by observing the impact a half-century of Socialism has had on the Chinese people.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Toronto Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, New York Film Festival, 2008


    “One of the most original filmmakers working today. Without nostalgia but with sensitivity and depth of feeling, Mr. Jia is documenting a country and several generations that are disappearing before the world’s eyes.” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

    “The most important filmmaker in the world.” - Stuart Klawans, The Nation

    “Poignant and charming. Eloquent testimony to a China that is vanishing with each swing of the wrecking ball…. The memories of the workers in their factory microcosm, and telling documentaries like these, keep the past alive, so that later generations will know what once was, and what’s been lost.” - Mary Corliss, Time Magazine

    24 City brings huge stretches of long-repressed history to life on an intimate scale. Jia, filming with a calm, probing ruefulness, quietly unlocks the floodgates of memory as a crucial first step toward personal and political liberation.” - Richard Brody, The New Yorker

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