In Gansu Province, Northwest China, lie the remains of countless prisoners abandoned in the Gobi Desert sixty years ago. Deemed “ultra-rightists” in the Communist Party’s Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957, they starved to death in the Jiabiangou and Mingshui reedcuation camps. Dead Souls invites us to meet the survivors of the camps to find out firsthand who these persons were, the hardships they were forced to endure, and what became their destiny.
▶︎ Ticket + lunch: €34,95 | Cineville: €14,95
12:45 – Lunch break
“Weighty and mindfully austere, Dead Souls shines a bright and steady spotlight into a dark corner of 20th century Chinese history.” —Film Comment
“Masterful, heart-wrenching, harrowing; this essential documentary is necessarily, unflinchingly grim; the cinematic equivalent of walking in the survivors’ shoes, and a complex, challenging but crucial viewing experience that burrows its immense sorrows deep into the audience’s bones. A Shoah of our time.” —Screen Daily
“Explosive; Charting the origins, operations and outcomes of a far-flung Chinese labor camp in the late 1950s/early 1960s, the documentary offers affecting and harrowing accounts from those who survived the gulag. Thoroughly focused and tightly structured, it is an immensely perceptive piece about the history of China and its multitude of discontents.” —The Hollywood Reporter
“A powerfully sobering and clear-eyed investigation that justifies its length through the gravity and presence of its testimony.” —Variety
“A film of resistance that, in discussing the past, also confronts the present-day activities of the Chinese government; [foretelling future memorials] for the victims of today’s camps and bearing witness to the cruel injustices of the country’s reigning overlords.” —The New Yorker