Dead Souls (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Souls2018

Dead Souls (2018)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In Gansu Province, northwest China, lie the remains of countless prisoners abandoned in the Gobi Desert sixty years ago. Deemed "ultra-rightists" in the Communist Party's Anti-Rightist campaign of 1957, they starved to death in the Jiabiangou and Mingshui reeducation camps. Directed by Wang Bing (Fengming), one of the most important Chinese artists and documentarians working today, Dead Souls invites us to meet the survivors of the camps to find out firsthand who these persons were, the hardships they were forced to endure, and what became their destiny.


Critic Reviews for Dead Souls

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

Beyond just capturing and filing memories, Wang is after how his subjects process their trauma, how they frame the horror of their experiences, and how they've coped with survivors' guilt.

May 12, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Charting the origins, operations and outcomes of a far-flung Chinese labor camp in the late 1950s/early 1960s, the documentary offers affecting and harrowing accounts from those who survived the gulag.

May 11, 2018 | Full Review…

A powerfully sobering and clear-eyed investigation that justifies its length through the gravity and presence of its testimony.

May 10, 2018 | Full Review…

Dead Souls joins such works as Claude Lanzmann's Shoah (to which Wang's film has been speciously compared) and Patricio Guzmán's The Battle of Chile as a vast memorial to state barbarity.

November 1, 2018 | Full Review…

Taken together, it's an overwhelming and damning portrait, but the film's power lies in heartbreaking, idiosyncratic and overlapping details.

September 6, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Dead Souls is a daunting cinematic achievement worth wrestling with. A work of pure, undiluted empathy and emotion, Dead Souls is as pure and daring as documentary filmmaking tends to get.

September 6, 2018 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

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