Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks

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Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks
Traditional 鐵西區
Simplified 铁西区
Mandarin Tiěxī Qū [tʰjè.ɕí.tɕʰú]
Literally district west of the railroad
Directed by Wang Bing
Produced by Wang Bing
Zhu Zhu
Cinematography Wang Bing
Edited by Wang Bing
Adam Kerdy
Release dates
Running time
551 min.
Country China
Language Mandarin Chinese

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks is a Chinese documentary film by Wang Bing. Over 9 hours long, the film consists of three parts, "Rust," "Remnants" and "Rails."

Tie Xi Qu was filmed over the course of two years between 1999 and 2001[1] and details the slow decline of Shenyang's industrial Tiexi district, an area that was once a vibrant example of China's socialist economy. With the move towards other industries, however, the factories of Tiexi have all begun to be closed down, and with them, much of the district's worker-based infrastructure and social constructs.



The first portion, "Rust" follows a group of factory workers in three state-run factories: a smelting plant, an electric cable factory and a sheet metal factory. Workers at all three face sub-standard equipment, hazardous waste, and lack of safety precautions. Perhaps even worse, with the declining need for such heavy industry, the factories also face a constant lack of raw materials, leaving the workers idle and concerned for their future.


The second part, "Remnants" follows the families of many of the workers in an old state-run housing block, "Rainbow Row." In particular, Wang focuses on the teenage children who concern themselves with their own lives but must also cope with their inevitable displacement as Tie Xi's factories continue to close down.


The third part, "Rails" narrows its focus to a single father and son who scavenge the rail yards in order to sell raw parts to the factories. With the factories closing however, their future suddenly becomes uncertain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CATSOULIS, Jeannette (2007-04-18). "West of the Tracks". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 

External links[edit]