The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, August 5-11

PinganYueqing

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Ping’an Yueqing (2011)
Directed by Ai Weiwei
Ai’s great documentary premiered and won the Independent Spirit Prize at the 2012 edition of the Beijing Independent Film Festival, a festival which was shut down last year by government officials and whose future is currently uncertain. The film mounts a handheld two-year-long investigation into the Christmas 2010 death of Qian Yunhui, an activist and village leader in Zhejiang Province who was suspiciously hit and killed by a truck. Ai presents interviews with several people involved in the case, some of who declare that what happened was obviously an accident, others of who talk of foul play, and many of who refuse to give statements out of fear of being abducted that same day if they do. The film goes on to detail the conditions of the impoverished peoples for whose rights the oft-imprisoned dead man spent much of his life fighting. It relates how his family was paid off and possible murderers given light sentences, and offers a sense of the act of telling the truth as an endless ongoing struggle. Aaron Cutler (August 9, 8pm; August 13, 6:30pm at Anthology Film Archives’s “Cinema on the Edge: The Best of the Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012-14”)

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