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A Touch Of Sin review

Zhangke's swirling crime stories

Jia Zhangke gives portmanteau pics fresh blood in his moral mosaic of modern China – blood being the operative word. Zhangke is known for slow-burn reveries like Still Life , but his latest feature is buffeted by violent eruptions; even animals and apples get it.

What keeps gratuitousness at bay is Zhangke’s controlled style and empathy for the have-nots. Bitter coal miners and harassed women kick back against their oppressors in the best of these four heartfelt tales of howling frustration: the violence hits you like a shovel to the head, but the political rage stings hardest.

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Kevin Harley

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.