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疯狂城市化演绎中国版《神曲》 | 微思客

*微思客重视版权保护。本文原载于《中外对话》,由微思客经授权推送,转载请事先联系作者或微思客团队。封面图片为内蒙古露天煤矿,图片来自Greenpeace。

疯狂城市化演绎中国版《神曲》

刘琴

被誉为“中国当代艺术教父”的栗宪庭称,赵亮导演的《悲兮魔兽》 (Behemoth),对于回答“疯狂的城市化是怎么来的这个问题”给出了答案。该纪录片投资15万欧元,从2012年开始筹备到2014年秋季拍摄完成,耗时3年,是唯一一部入围2015年第72届威尼斯电影节并有望角逐金狮奖的亚洲纪录片。

凭借画面的强大视觉冲击力,影片呈现了城市化和工业化所暴露出的环境危机、健康危机,以及荒诞的房地产泡沫危机。

《悲兮魔兽》借用《神曲》的结构,由1名尘肺病人当向导,带领观众游历地狱、炼狱、天堂3个场景。赵亮在观影现场和观众互动说,影片借鉴神曲的叙事结构,完全是一种天意。但丁在八百年前想象的地狱场景,他看到了。

《好莱坞报道》对《悲兮魔兽》的评价是:“天堂到炼狱的转变,地狱的场景也清晰在望,中国导演赵亮在他的《悲兮魔兽》中对这一进程进行了宏大而令人印象深刻的视觉刻画。”

《悲兮魔兽》是影片英文名“Behemoth”的音译。旧约里上帝在第五日创造了比蒙巨兽(Behemoth),它是陆地上最大的生物,每天需要吃掉一千座大山供给的食物。在片子结束时打出了“我们就是那魔兽的爪牙”字幕,留给观众以沉思和反省。

赵亮告诉观众:“剪片是一个痛苦的过程”。90分钟从头至尾没有一句人物对话。

拍摄一部环境纪录片是赵亮的夙愿。起初他打算制作一部“中国公路纪录片”。于是实地考察了一年。当他开车进入内蒙古时,便立刻停下了。“太壮观了,那就是月球。”对于资源的过度开发明显影响到当地的自然环境和地貌特征,使之呈现出一种类似月球环形山的效果。惊叹之余,赵亮决定留在内蒙古,开始对他看到的“月球景观”进行拍摄。

“风吹草低见牛羊”诗句描述的是昔日内蒙古大草原风情。这里拥有令人遐想的广阔草原、丰富的煤矿资源。然而,城市化的快速扩张,正在悄然改变这里的一切。镜头中空空荡荡无人居住的“鬼城”让人心悸。

片子中的“鬼城”由于房地产过度开发,无序发展,留下了大片的空置楼宇。“鬼城”远非个案,房地产经济的畸形发展在中国造就了难以计数的“鬼城”。中国国家统计局的数据表明,中国房地产库存达7亿平方米。一位知名地产商说,7亿库存量中有大量库存很难消化,“只能炸掉”,炸掉才能重新规划和合理利用。

影片细致入微地刻画了大自然正面临的破坏以及底层劳动者的境遇。他希望引发观众思考。但这样的效果目前看来还难以达到。赵亮原本以为,环境问题关系到每一个人的生活和生命。但在拍摄过程中,他发现由于现实生活中各方利益的复杂交织,显而易见的环境问题要解决起来远非易事。

北京大学环境科学与工程学院教授张世秋此前告诉中外对话,环境问题的复杂性在于,它不止是一个经济问题、社会问题,更是一个利益冲突的问题。

栗宪庭说,通过影像的表达,揭示出“我们的享受是建立在别人的痛苦和自然资源的破坏之上的”。

 

摄制组不能进入国有大型煤矿企业拍摄,但在广阔的野外作业区,也能偶尔拍到一两个大企业作业的场景。于是,他们只得将重心放在了私人煤矿上,通过和煤老板拼酒、闲聊,混熟之后再进行拍摄,有时也不得不偷拍一些场景。

一些旷工患上了尘肺病。原本尘肺病属于工伤、职业病。但大部分矿场根本不与农民工签署劳动合同,加之尘肺病潜伏期较长,矿场倒闭或转手的周期又短,使得农民工发病之后无处索赔。有的农民工只能采用最简单的拉横幅办法到政府部门上访,他们中的很多人余生都在为维权而奔命,其中一些人至死也没有拿到赔偿。

“艺术家在通过影像艺术表达社会时,实际能改变社会多少呢? ” 赵亮对观众说道。

赵亮说他很在意环保,甚至是个地球主义者,环境政治也在他的思考范畴。他认为,环境问题是关系到每一个人的生活和生命的问题。是自己的事儿。“每个人都有责任和义务”。但拍摄后发现,现实的复杂性、社会政治经济的复杂性,使得一个显而易见的问题解决起来困难重重,这似乎就是人类的报应。

 

北京近期已发布两次雾霾红色预警,导演贾樟柯在微博说,他要选择离开北京。赵亮对中外对话说:“它的确影响了我的生活质量,影响了我的心情。我厌倦和反感。”

赵亮是中国当代独立纪录片的创作代表,擅长发掘社会议题,关注上访者、艾滋病人、尘肺病人等弱势群体命运。他曾获2006年德国卡塞尔纪录和录像艺术节金钥匙奖;2007年法国南特三大洲国际电影节最高奖“金气球奖”等奖项。

(请点击文末“阅读原文”观赏《悲兮魔兽》片花,国内读者需翻墙。)

“Behemoth” film depicts human costs of coal

Zhao Liang’s film Behemoth shines a light on the forces behind China’s rampant development and urbanisation.

The film’s images provide a striking impression of the environmental and health costs of coal mining and consumption, as well as the farcical nature of China’s property bubble.Behemoth was the only Asian documentary to be shown at the Venice International Film Festival in September last year, competing for the coveted Golden Lion prize.

Behemoth borrows its structure from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, as a coal miner suffering from pneumoconiosis  (a lung disease) guides the audience through a modern-day hell, purgatory and heaven – the coal mines and cities of Inner Mongolia.

Speaking to the audience at a screening of the film, Zhao said he himself has seen the hell that Dante only imagined 800 years ago.

Zhao told the audience that the editing had been a “painful process.” There is no dialogue throughout the entire 90 minute film.

Zhao’s earlier critically acclaimed documentaries have shed light on some of the darkest corners of Chinese society  –  filming petitioners coming to Beijing and people living with HIV. But for a long time he has wanted to make an environmental documentary.

He was inspired to make Behemoth driving through Inner Mongolia, where grasslands scarred by mining reminded the filmmaker of craters on the moon and decided to stay in the province to film those other-worldly landscapes.

The production team was unable to film inside large state-owned mining companies, managing only to get a few shots of their operations. This forced them to focus on privately-owned mines – getting to know the bosses by drinking and chatting with them before getting permission to film. Sometimes they had to resort to recording their footage covertly.

The rapid expansion of cities has also transformed the region. In the film, ‘Paradise’ is the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos, China’s infamous “ghost city.” The scenes of the vast expanse of identical buildings – the result of excessive and unplanned property development – are unsettling. Official statistics estimate China has 700 million square metres of empty buildings, much of which can be demolished, according to one well-known property developer, since there is no demand for it.

‘Black lung’

The film also depicts the plight of coal miners – some of whom now suffer from pneumoconiosis, also known as ‘black lung’, a common hazard in the industry. Most mines do not sign contracts with the migrant workers they employ, and the disease develops slowly, by which time the coal pits have often closed or changed hands, so workers find it impossible to get compensation. Some miners are forced to petition the local government, standing outside their offices holding banners. Many of them now spend their lives trying to get damages for their illnesses – some of them dying before they do.

Originally, Zhao believed environmental issues affect the lives of everyone. But during filming he found that conflicting interests means solving environmental problems is no easy task.

Speaking at the film showing, famous art critic Li Xianting said that the film shows how “our pleasures are built on the suffering of others and the destruction of natural resources.”

Zhao hopes the film will make his audience think. “When an artist uses film to reflect something happening in society, to what extent does society change in response?” Zhao asked his audience.

Beijing has recently seen two air pollution red alerts, prompting another famous director, Jia Zhangke, to announce he will leave the city to escape the hazardous smog.

Zhao told chinadialogue that “the pollution does affect our quality of life and our feelings. I’m sick and tired of it.”

Zhao Liang is an award winning independent documentary film maker who exposes the fate of vulnerable social groups in China. He is director of the critically acclaimed 2009 film “Petition” and “Together” a film commissioned by the Ministry of Health about discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

中外对话冯灏对此文亦有贡献

作者刘琴,中外对话北京办公室编辑
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