The Iron Ministry


The Iron Ministry (2015)


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Movie Info

Filmed over three years on what will soon be the world's largest railway network, this documentary traces the vast interiors of a country on the move: flesh and metal, clangs and squeals, light and dark, language and gesture. Scores of rail journeys come together into one, capturing the thrills and anxieties of social and technological transformation.

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Critic Reviews for The Iron Ministry

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

Amid the rumble, Sniadecki's camera spies such a variety of life that it soon seems as though these trains provide a stage for the full spectrum of human activity.

Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki withholds judgment and resists editorializing, but the result is frustratingly nebulous and devoid of context.

Aug 20, 2015 | Full Review…

"The Iron Ministry" is neither boring nor confining, which is just to say that it's not a long trip through a faraway country. It's a work of art - vivid and mysterious and full of life.

Aug 20, 2015 | Full Review…

The overheard conversations touch on social issues (e.g., China's rapid industrialization and rampant unemployment) addressed more thoroughly in numerous recent Chinese films.

Aug 20, 2015 | Full Review…

What emerges is a sense of an optimistic people well aware of how hard times can be but convinced they might be getting better.

Aug 18, 2015 | Full Review…

The parallel tracks of railways and cinema profitably converge yet again in J.P.Sniadecki's outstanding, semi-experimental documentary The Iron Ministry, a pungently immersive evocation of traveling on Chinese trains.

Aug 17, 2015 | Full Review…

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