Zhao Liang’s sharp eye captures the casual violence of police interrogations and sometimes astounding levels of incompetence. But the film’s careful structuring also reveals the ways in which the state uses these men, luring them into police service with the possibility of a job for life and a place on the authoritarian ladder. In reality, most are quickly discarded after a year or two of service and dropped back into the sea of impoverished humanity they came from. There are no heroes or villains here – just young men caught up in a cycle that ultimately keeps most of them as powerless as the villagers they lord over. – MIFF 2012
Yeah all that is in here – but its so drawn out and laboured that I lost my care factor 30 arduous minutes in. There is a great documentary buried in here but at 122 mins it’s just too long an endurance test for me to laud over.