Director Wang Bing brings his careful eye to the mountainous border-region of northeastern Myanmar in Ta’ang, a powerful and revealing observational documentary that follows members of the Ta’ang minority as they flee to China to escape an ongoing and escalating civil war.
In a pair of refugee camps, those displaced by the war attempt to create reasonably safe living conditions, while others go deeper into China where they may find work in sugarcane fields or try their luck in urban areas. Meanwhile, those still in Myanmar must journey across the mountains, belongings and livestock in tow, as the sounds of gunfire and artillery echo around them.
Ta’ang captures the constant insecurity, instability and disorientation that come with life as a refugee, the complexities of the choices the Ta’ang face, and the emotional toll they take.
"Unforgettable. Wang's cinema unearths the Prometheus in all of us: we give ourselves fire, we give each other fire, and life becomes liveable."
"A masterpiece depicting dignity in the face of dehumanizing displacement."
"An urgent account of a refugee crisis that Western media so far has rarely looked at."
"Sublime...A striking documentary on the migrant condition."
"Wang Bing zeroes in on the lives of refugees living on the war-torn borderlands between Myanmar and China."
The Hollywood Reporter
"A remarkable visual document...more real and raw than most documentaries on exodus and refugees. Eerily beautiful and deeply touching."
Toronto International Film Festival
"Channels the destitute yet hopeful no-man's (and woman's) existence of the refugee experience."
"Brilliant! Jump cut to the harsh realities facing approximately 100,000 Ta'ang, Han, Dai and Burmese refugees fleeing across Myanmar's northern border into China."