Analysis Of The Book ' Blind Shaft '

1210 WordsOct 12, 20165 Pages
From the “Big Rice Pot” to Privatization: The “revenge of history” in Li Yang’s “Blind Shaft” In her paper, “The ‘revenge of history’: China’s collective memories and labor protests in north eastern China,” Ching Kwan Lee describes how China’s market reform has led to mass unemployment and poverty among state workers in the rustbelt of China. This declining standard of living has resulted a nostalgia for Maoist socialism, in what she calls “the revenge of history,” or the idea that those who have benefited the most from socialistic policies lost the most after the market reforms. The plight of these workers is dramatized in the movie “Blind Shaft,” where Li Yang tells the story of two con artists who trick migrant workers into joining them in the coal mines, only to kill them in the mines and reap profits in the form of “hush money” from the corrupt owners of the mines. Lee’s idea of the “revenge of history” is useful for interpreting this movie, because it provides context for the events depicted, allowing the audience to gain a better understanding of the motivations of the con artists. At first glance, the con artists are just greedy men, looking to make a quick profit. Looking from the Lee’s perspective, however, shows that these men are forced into this situation because of the poverty pushed onto them by capitalistic market reforms. Lee’s metaphor of “the revenge of history” allows the audience to gain a more complex and nuanced view of the characters Song Jinming and
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