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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Dixia de Tiankong" )


directed by Zhang Chi
China 2008


THE SHAFT tells the intertwined stories of three members of a family in a small village where the only destiny seems to be working for the mine. As a woman working for the mine's security office, miserable Ding Jingshui (Zheng Louqian) is subject to various rumors about how she got the job, including one that she is having an affair with the manager. Her aunt wants her to leave the town and meet a wealthy husband in the city, but she wants a better life for herself and her miner boyfriend Song Daming (Li Chen, ASSEMBLY). When the manager's wife and the miners gang up on her and her boyfriend Song Daming does not stand up for her, Jinshui decides she must think of her own happiness. Meanwhile, her brother Ding Jingsheng (Huang Xuan) has been skipping school and will not qualify for the university exams. He does not want to work in the mines and wants to become a pop star in Beijing, but cannot afford music school. He answers an application for security guard recruiting for a company in Beijing but ends up swindled out of the money his father has given him. It's either a life of crime or working in the mines for him. When their father, a lifetime miner Ding Baogen (Luo Deyuan) finds himself forcibly retired after sixty years, he resists his daughter's attempts to get him to move to the city and stay with her and her new husband. Instead, he decides to track down the long lost mother of his children. THE SHAFT is a downbeat and understated picture of people with few options trying to be happy even as they are telling others that "it's enough to be alive." Two of the characters merely achieve equilibrium while the third is the only one that winds up being okay with not knowing what comes next. There's nothing novel about the narrative trajectories of any of the three stories, but that may be the point.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 22 January 2010 (USA)

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DVD Review: The Global Film Initiative (Global Lens Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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The Global Film Initiative

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:48

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: The Global Film Initiative

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Global Lens Trailer (4:3; 1:58)
• Film Discussion Guide (PDF file)
• Global Lens Films gallery
• About The Global Film Initiative

DVD Release Date: September 20th, 2011

Chapters 12



The Global Film Initiative DVD of THE SHAFT features a single-layer, anamorphic, interlaced transfer with Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. The only related extra is a PDF discussion manual that covers the themes of the film (pages 9-15, however, are general historical facts about China that have little immediate bearing on the film).

  - Eric Cotenas


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


The Global Film Initiative

Region 0 - NTSC



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