Dead Souls

China / 2018 / 495 minutes / NR

In Gansu Province, northwest China, lie the remains of countless prisoners abandoned in the Gobi Desert sixty years ago. Deemed “ultra-rightists” in the Communist Party’s Anti-Rightist campaign of 1957, they starved to death in the Jiabiangou and Mingshui reeducation camps. Dead Souls invites us to meet the survivors of the camps to find out firsthand who these persons were, the hardships they were forced to endure, and what became their destiny.


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Co-released with Icarus Films.

  • Director

    Wang Bing

  • Producer

    Wang Bing
    Serge Lalou
    Louise Prince
    Camille Laemlé

  • "A monumental achievement: as a documentary, as a humanist tribute and as an effort at historical rectification."

    — Giovanni Marchini Camia, Sight & Sound
  • "A powerfully sobering and clear-eyed investigation that justifies its length through the gravity and presence of its testimony."

    — Owen Gleiberman, Variety
  • "Joins such works as Lanzmann’s Shoah and Guzman’s The Battle of Chile as a vast memorial to the state of barbarity.... The most intrepid chronicler of post-Mao China."

    — James Quandt, New York Review of Books
  • "Thoroughly focused and tightly structured. His most explosive outing."

    — Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "Among the few films to ever merit comparison to [Shoah]."

    — Eric Hynes, Film Comment
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