In the post-socialist and market reform era, the power of the market and the developmental imperatives are creating metabolic rifts between humans and nature, between producers and the land. The film The Piano in a Factory tells a story of the working class trying to rekindle, amid new alienations, past pride and solidarity. Chinese documentary films have proven an effective medium in critiquing ecological rifts and disasters, staging a stringent critique against eco-destructive economic trends. Against a visual landscape dominated by billboards, glamorous stars, and images, documentary filmmakers expose the conditions of alienated labor and the environmental and human costs of unfettered development.

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