How The Disparities In The Film A Touch Of Sin By Zhangke Jia

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The movie A Touch of Sin, by Zhangke Jia, presents a rapidly transforming China that is forced to attempt to reconcile the disparities between its past and present. In such an environment, the characters must adapt as they are worn down by an explosive need for vengeance and violence. Every personal decision each character chooses to make thus results from the heavy political influences surrounding them in their everyday lives. One major example is in the first vignette, where coal miner Dahai is outraged at the corruption and influence one individual holds over the entirety of the village. The wealthy individual promised to pay a portion of the profits to the previous state-owned coal mine, but has instead kept all of the profits for himself, bribing the village chief and several other villagers to not rise up against him and instead enable his corruption. This results in extreme poverty in the village, where villagers are struggling to eat, however, they simply mock Dahai’s ideals and ambitions, in part because they do not wish to, and are possibly afraid of, uprising. Dahai’s frustration propels him to take drastic measures on his own, murdering corrupt officials, a…show more content…
Zhou San, a young man who rides from city to city on a motorcycle, finds murder and robbery to be the way to survival, as the way to provide for his family. The last character, Xiao Hui, is shown constantly seeking new jobs to support his family, with each being worst than the last. He eventually takes his life by jumping off a building at the end of the film, choosing suicide over a life with no opportunities. The film shows China as a country where there is no way to get ahead in life without sinning. The linking of the four separate narratives suggests that corruption and inhumanity are ingrained in the system of governance and employment in modern

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