Director Zhao Liang

Production year 2015

Length 90min.

Country China/France


With camera in tow, filmmaker Zhao Liang travels through the prairies of Mongolia’s vast plateau. Unfolding before his eyes are the signs of controversial upheaval due to an aggressive modern economy. Heavenly green grasslands are being covered by the gloomy dust of a growing mining industry. Confronted with the ash and infernal din of incessant mining, herdsmen and their families have no choice but to move away as grazing meadows dwindle. Day and night, miners are busy picking out coals from mountains of rocks. In nearby ironworks, men bake in the scorching heat like the condemned in Inferno. In a sort of Purgatorio, sufferers of work‐related illnesses await death in hospital. A genuine Paradiso has been destroyed in exchange for an urban mirage, the empty new buildings of modern ghost town Ordos.


Zhao Liang
Zhao Liang



Sylvie Blum


Zhao Liang, Sylvie Blum

Director of Photography

Zhao Liang

Music by

Huzi, Alain Mahé, Mamer


Myriam René, Laurent Thomas


Fabrice Rouaud

Production company(ies)

Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) Arte France

Zhao Liang

Born in Northeastern China, Zhao Liang graduated from Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. Based in Beijing since 1993, Zhao Liang has been working as an independent documentary filmmaker as well as a multimedia artist in photography and video art. His works have been exhibited in the International Center of Photography (New York), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Haus der Kullturen der Welt (Berlin), Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid) and numerous other art galleries and museums around the world. With his unique vision and acute reflections on social issues and conditions, Zhao Liang is at the frontier of documentary filmmaking in China today. His Crime and Punishment (2007) won Montgolflère D’or at the Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes). In addition, his Petition (2009) was selected to the Cannes IFF, Together (2010) was selected to the Berlin IFF, and Behemoth (2015) was selected to the Venice IFF.


Bored Youth (2000, short), Paper Airplane (2001, doc.), Jerks, Don't Say Fuck (2001, short), City Scene (2004, doc.), Return to the Border (2005, doc.), Crime and Punishment (2007, doc.), Petition (2009, doc.), Together (2010, doc.), Behemoth (2015, doc.).

FILMS 2018