Friday, March 21, 2008

Crude Oil (2008 film)


Crude Oil / Caiyou Riji (采油日记) is a 2008 Chinese documenter film directed by Wang Bing (王兵)


  • Movie: Crude Oil / 采油日记 (2008)
  • Aka : Caiyou Riji /  采油日记 (2008)
  • Director: Wang Bing (王兵)
  • Producer: Li Hong , Wang Bing (王兵)
  • Writer : Wong Jing (王晶)
  • Cinematographer: Wang Bing (王兵) , Huang Wenhai (黄文海) , Zhang Yuedong 
  • Release Date: March 21 , 2008
  • Runtime: 840minutes
  • Genre : Documenter
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Country: China


Wang Bing headed for a plateau in the Gobi desert to show just how much China needs oil at the moment. Just how hard they have to work there in barren conditions. He returned home with altitude sickness and also with a film that lasts two whole days in exhibition.
The most important reason not to screen this film by the master documentary maker Wang Bing in a cinema is its length. As an installation, the film now lasts two exhibition days, two times seven hours, and offers an opportunity for the viewer to walk away and come back again. Originally the film was planned to last even longer: a whole exhibition week. That material was also shot, but in the end the maker preferred an edited version.
The film was shot at a high altitude in the Gobi Desert in northwestern China. It shows the heavy industry of crude oil being extracted and the work of hundreds of labourers who do tiring and dirty work and make long days. Wang Bing follows the workers in their canteens and dormitories, while they play cards and he also listens to them talking about women.
The pressure to extract oil and on the workers is great. The climate of the high, rocky desert is harsh, but it has to be done, because the present Chinese economy has an almost insatiable need for oil.
The presentation of this great film is relatively simple and on a single screen. It's possible to follow a day of work extracting oil from the morning to the evening. The cinematographic time runs parallel to real-time, so that the installation makes it possible to restore the language of film, which usually compresses time, to the time of one's own observation.( Source : International Film Festival Rotterdam ,



  • Filmed in the Inner Mongolian portion of the Gobi Desert, it follows a group of oil field workers as they go about their daily routine.









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