Saturday, November 07, 2015

12 Citizens

2014, China, directed by Ang Xu

A Chinese re-working of 12 Angry Men, which necessitates some plot gymnastics in the opening since the Chinese legal system is completely different. After the setup, the film sticks quite closely to the original, sometimes almost word for word (at least if the subtitles are to be trusted), though the setting is somewhat less claustrophobic even if equally sweaty. There's a rather archly theatrical aspect to the physical setup, though the camera is far more mobile than in Lumet's version -- far less classical, but generally quite effective. An interesting transposition, in other words, and not without a distinct line of politico-judicial commentary. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States