Wang Bing, The Ditch, 2010. © the artist

Wang Bing, The Ditch, 2010. © the artist

Wang Bing, The Ditch, 2010. © the artist

The Ditch focuses on the suffering of thousands of Chinese deported for re-education in the Jiabiangou forced labour camp in the Gobi Desert between 1957 and 1961. Considered as right wing dissidents by the government, due to their criticisms of the Communist Party or simply their middle-class backgrounds, they encountered daily conditions of absolute destitution. Informed by Wang’s interviews with survivors, The Ditch is an unflinching account of the very extremes of the human condition. 

The Ditch was part of our focus on Wang Bing, for information about other screenings, see Wang Bing: Industrial Films.

Wang Bing was born in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China in 1967, and studied photography at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art in 1992, and cinematography at Beijing Film Academy in 1995. He began his independent filmmaking career in 1999.

Wang Bing is a leading figure of the exciting documentary movement within Chinese cinema over the last decade. He is renowned for his epic documentaries, from the vast nine-hour panorama of a dying industrial factory town in West of the Tracks to Crude Oil’s real-time portrait of the working day of oil extraction workers. His films offer profound meditations on history, industry and human suffering caused by the inexorable progress of modern China, forging a rare intimacy with everyday life.

Curated by AV Festival. Regional Premiere.

The Ditch
Dir. Wang Bing


Thu 27 March 2014, 6pm

Tyneside Cinema

10 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle NE1 6QG

Original Language Title: JIABIANGOU ( 夹 边 沟 )
Year: 2010
Runtime: 108min
Format: DCP
Country: Hong Kong/France/Belgium
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Camera: Lu Sheng
Editor: Marie-Hélène DOZO
Sound: Gilles Laurent, Valérie Ledocte (Belgium), Fu Kang (China)
Sales: Wild Bunch, Esther Devos