"A powerful Chinese film on the plight of political prisoners condemned to forced labor camps in the late 1950s" is the subject of this story — Chinese film on 1960 labor camps cheered in Venice. More:
- "The Ditch" tells the little-known story of some 3,000 people deported for "re-education" to labor camps on the edge of the Gobi desert, in western China, and struggling to survive extreme climate and acute food shortages.
Billed as right-wing enemies by the government for even mildly criticizing the Communist party or simply because of their background, many died of starvation, disease and exhaustion in the ditches that served as dormitories....
"The Ditch is perhaps the first film to deal directly with contemporary China's political past, talking as it does about the 'Rightists' and what they endured in the re-education camps. It's still a taboo subject."