Winning the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival obviously doesn’t get you much cachet here in America, since it only opened in very limited release, received a low amount of media promotion, and made less than $100,000 at the box office. However, A Touch of Sin seems geared to succeed in its native China, since director Zhangke Jia made his most critically acclaimed movie yet into a one-movie statement for the negatives effects of China’s ever-growing focus on money. Jia’s film is essentially four stories woven into one tapestry, all dramatizing real-life moments of violence born from the pressures of the systems China’s new economy as forced to exist. Alas, but China’s censor boards won’t allow Touch to be released in its homeland, ostensibly because the movie isn’t kind to the establishment. So the people who would appreciate the movie’s pointed and poignant themes most won’t get to.
Quicker take: The best subtitles you’ll never read.