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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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