CHINA BLUE (Micha X. Peled, 2005)

China Blue, a documentary directed by Micha X. Peled, is (if technically unexciting) very fine. On two fronts it is an especially valuable contributor to the now generous body of films exposing the pernicious nature of globalization: the combined effect of globalization and a lack of, or lax, child labor laws; the tunnel-visioned contempt for workers of profit-prone bosses. Exploited workers are always a heartrending lot; add to that if the worker is 14 years old! The textile sweatshop factory in South China on which the film focuses, where our blue jeans are made, is not one that chains workers to their posts; but Peled does a fine job of making apparent all the invisible chains; and the whole system of income deductions and penalties, where the income is miniscule even at the full, would be funny if actual lives weren’t being so adversely affected. The factory boss, a former police chief (!), is so sanctimonious and self-righteous, so utterly convinced that he is doing nothing wrong—well, why shouldn’t he be, now that the whole world has sanctioned/sanctified his inhuman pursuit of profits? This is a good movie!—not a great one, but for all the modesty of its presentation a compelling one. It is something that should be seen by U.S. highschoolers; but how can it be thus shown in schools when the nation endorses the whole structure that generates the evils that the film, however gently, exposes?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s