Timber Gang aka Last Lumberjacks (Mu Bang)
YU Guangyi. China, 2006. Documentary, 90 minutes.
Northeastern Chinese dialect w/ English subtitles.
|,||“Pure, unadorned cinema verite… consistently astonishing.” – Robert Koehler, Variety
Yu Guangyi’s stunning debut explores a grueling winter amongst loggers in Northeast China as they employ traditional practices through one last, fateful expedition. A lasting testament to disappearing traditions, Last Lumberjacks “is a fascinating glimpse at a rare way of life that few will ever witness” (Ain’t It Cool News)
For generations, the lumberjacks of Heilongjiang, China have made their living harvesting timber amidst a barren, wintry landscape. These woodcutters confront the elements, living in makeshift cabins surrounded by snow and ice. hand tools, sleds and horses are the only technology they employ to drag massive trees down the perilous slopes of Black Bear Valley. At constant risk of injury and death, they attempt to appease the mountain gods with ancient rituals and sacrifices. Despite their heroic efforts to subsist, the deforestation caused by their decades-long customs my lead to their ultimate demise.
Armed with a digital camera and survival gear, Yu Guangyi spent months filming the lumberjacks of his hometown, offering a privileged peek into some exceedingly harsh lives (Neil Young, Jigsaw Lounge). With no formal training in filmmaking, Yu captures both vivid, workaday detail and moments of stunning visual beauty that dives the docu-adventurism of Werner Herzog a run for his money (Ben Cho, Moving Pictures Magazine). A lasting testament to disappearing traditions, LAST LUMBERJACKS is a fascinating glimpse at a rare way of life that few will ever witness (Ain’t It Cool News).
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**This title is available in the US and Canada only
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