Smog Town

(Yao Wang Fan Xing)

China, long plagued by smog, has declared war "for the defence of the blue sky." An important battle is underway in the city of Langfang near Beijing.

Li, the director of the local environmental office, feels the weight of responsibility. Smog harms the health of citizens and the image of the Communist Party. The task is clear: to improve air quality. But how is this possible if the economy is not to suffer? Li and his colleagues address China's Catch 22. Occasionally, the film gives them room for personal reflection, but it is enough to methodically observe: the office environment, the protagonists' family background, their interaction with officials and ordinary citizens. Practically on each of these levels, the will of the official apparatus comes up against reality, and a balancing takes place on the border between good intentions and bureaucracy, embodying devotion to the party.

International premiere

About the film

Director: Meng Han
China, Netherlands, South Korea
2019 | 89 min.

Language: Chinese

Subtitles: English