A friend of mine recently returned from a week-long business trip to Beijing. He talked about the tremendous size of the city, the ten traffic loops that surround it, the incredible cleanliness (people mopping the roads), and the complete absence of birds (as far as he could tell).
He also noted that bulldozers were busy demolishing buildings and clearing entire lots, right up to the edge of many roads.
Having lived in Beijing for more than a dozen years, filmmaker Xiaolu Guo has paid particular attention to those bulldozers. More importantly, she has meditated upon what the tremendous upswing in construction — and inevitable destruction — has wrought, and what it may mean for the future of Beijing, and China itself, especially in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. She distills these thoughts in The Concrete Revolution, which is less a straight-forward documentary than an absorbing personal essay.
Read my entire review at Twitch.