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still Crime and Punishment (Zhao Liang, CN 2007)

Crime and Punishment

Zhao Liang / CN, 2007 / 122 min.

A police station on the border between China and North Korea: trainee officers brutally maintain order, almost to an absurd degree. This revealing portrait by documentary maker Zhao Liang was chosen by Albert Serra, who features in our exhibition.

poster Crime and Punishment (Zhao Liang, CN 2007)

What goes on in a Chinese village close to the border with North Korea? Not much, apart from some misdemeanours by the local petty thief. The organisers of an illegal mahjong game are also not exactly major-league villains. But the officers at the local police station – new recruits in training– believe they have to come down hard on every single (potential) transgression of the law.

Crime and Punishment shows life in present-day China, where the apparatus of the State is omnipotent. The fact that Zhao Liang was given permission to show these images is rather astonishing – or maybe the censors wanted to stress that no citizen of China can escape the long arm of the law?

On Saturday June 22 (18:30), there will be a Q&A with director Zhao Liang after the screening.

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Zhao Liang

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Original title

Zui Yu Fa


122 min.







Part of

Albert Serra

Eye Filmmuseum presents the first exhibition in the Netherlands about the work of Catalan film and theatre director Albert Serra. Transforming the entire exhibition space into an immersive stage, Serra orchestrates nocturnal and clandestine encounters where theatre, cinema, and art converge.

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campaign image Albert Serra – Liberté

Why in Eye

Bizarre, intriguing film about a Chinese police station on the border with North Korea. Zhao Liang’s depiction of the Chinese state apparatus raises more abstract questions about the arbitrariness and ‘performativity’ of power relations in general. Unforgettable.

Thijs Havens
Programmer Eye Filmmuseum

still Crime and Punishment (Zhao Liang, CN 2007)
still Crime and Punishment (Zhao Liang, CN 2007)
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  • 8 June — 29 September 2024

    Albert Serra


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