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Directed by Zanbo Zhang

China, Denmark 2015 95 mins.

In 2008, the Chinese government initiated an ambitious plan to build a superhighway in the Hunan province in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Zhang’s film, four years in the making, chronicles the imposed project, from villagers forced to leave their homes, to the plight of migrant construction workers accepting hazard and low pay, to the project managers as they negotiate with Communist Party members, careless employers, and local gangsters. The portrait that emerges reveals not just the corruption and violence surrounding the Xu-Huai highway, but also the road that China has taken in trying to build a modern economy with little regard to human and environment cost.  

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.