Regie by Zhang Ke Jia
Short-movie form Stories on Human Rights, 2008
A tourist, equipped with a camera and a tour guide, arrives in a provincial town where she hopes to see a city full of cultural relics and historic sites. But, contrary to her expectation, she finds herself in an industrial urban area, with blurred and patchy road signs eroded by smoke and pollution. The tourist, by instinct, takes pictures of these city signs: stop, street and road signs. Later, leaving the city, she waits for a bus on a highway, where an endless stream of heavy lorries carrying coal pass, and the cloud of coal dust flies over the sky in a spectacular scene. As the cloud disperses, she notes a group of workers eating breakfast in the coal dust: their faces are of the colour of coal and hardly recognizable. Sitting in the dust among them, she has to enjoy a “black breakfast”, her face as black as those of the locals.