Berlinale: Ta’ang


Directed by Wang Bing

by Malin Arvidsson

In Ta’ang, director Wang Bing follows selected Burmese families as they flee from their villages, brought on by the fighting between the rebels and the military. As audience, you are merely an observer as the families go about their day to day lives, eating, cooking, talking, sleeping, playing etc.

I was interested in watching this film as I have traveled around Burma for 4 weeks and have been interested in the conflicts there for years. In one way, the documentary is an interesting approach as you just get to watch the real lives of these people as they try to live on the move, away from home. But on the other hand it feels like it is a documentary anyone with a camera and a shitty microphone who could follow these people for a month could make. The scenes felt never-ending at times. At some point you watch a woman talking in sign language for several minutes without knowing what she’s saying.  And not just once, but two or three times. I think it could have been cut down from 2 ½ hours to 30 min.


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