Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 6 News List

CCP puts ‘Inferno’ documentary in purgatory

AFP, BEIJING

“Most media in China are engaged in covering up the facts, in lying. Many documentaries are about exposing lies, and letting people see the truth,” Zhao said.

Zhao relied on French and Italian funding and took nearly two years to make Behemoth, a process he called “guerilla filmmaking” involving regular run-ins with authorities.

The human costs of natural resource extraction is shown through the plight of miners who have developed black lung disease through years of exposure to coal dust.

Middle aged sufferers are filmed in tight close-ups, having their lungs washed out with rusty hospital equipment and lying hopelessly on their beds struggling for breath.

As many as 6 million people are estimated to suffer from the incurable illness in China.

“Black lung disease is something I’ve paid attention to for a long time,” Zhao said, adding wistfully: “Ideally, the film would be able to be screened in China, for Chinese people.”

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