Blind Shaft (2003)



Critic Consensus: A taut, biting critique on the new economic conditions in China.

Movie Info

A pair of murderers cover up their crimes via the archaic working conditions of coal mining in China in this award-winning psychological drama from director Li Yang. Blind Shaft centers on two men who have a grisly scheme: They persuade their victims to work in a local mine, plot their "accidental" deaths, then pose as the relatives of the dead men to collect their meager compensation. But when one of the killers starts to feel sympathy for their next victim, an ambitious young man, he listens to his conscience instead of his amoral co-conspirator. Blind Shaft won the Silver Bear at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Bronze Age Films


Shuangbao Wang
as Tang Zhaoyang
Yining Wang
as Mamasan
Zhao Hong Fei
as Xiao Li
Li Yixiang
as Song Jinming
Wang Baoqiang
as Yuan Fengming
An Jing
as Xiao Hong
Bao Zhenjiang
as Boss Huang
Zhao Junzhi
as Miss Ma
Zhi Lei
as Karaoke Manager
Liu Zhenqi
as Lao Li
Zhang Lulu
as Waitress
Li Yan
as Xiao Fang
Nie Weihua
as Boss Wang
Jian Chengwen
as Ticket Seller
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Blind Shaft

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (15)

Fresh, stark and consistently uncompromising, Li Yang's Blind Shaft is an exceptional Chinese film noir.

March 26, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While the lack of a musical track, energizing editing and visual variety makes Blind Shaft tedious viewing at times, the story is strong enough to sustain interest.

Full Review… | March 25, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Engrossing because of its amazingly well-documented milieu, which German-trained writer-director Li Yang filmed on location in the northern provinces.

Full Review… | March 25, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Makes for gripping, merciless drama.

Full Review… | March 18, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Unfolds as fast and mercilessly as the way Song and Tang approach their victims: It sideswipes us.

Full Review… | March 18, 2004
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Following the story is like walking down a mine shaft. Even with a weak headlamp, you kind of know where it's going, and it can't be good. But follow it you do, thanks to Yang's relentless, verite-style filmmaking.

March 12, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Blind Shaft

This morality tale flows with good speed and characterizations leading to a conclusion that seems appropriate. Great story telling.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

The last great Chinese movie I saw. Very funny and realistic depiction of modern China, with that hilarious line, "Okay, we'll first get him laid, then we'll kill him."

Ray Smith
Ray Smith

Part a jarring depiction of harsh realities of modern-day China, part a thriller, this movie is very effective in its minimalist style.

Gabriel Knight
Gabriel Knight

Blind Shaft Quotes

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