Tate Modern Film

Wang Bing: Bitter Money

Wang Bing Bitter Money 2016, film still. Courtesy Pyramide International

Observe an intimate portrait of migrant workers’ daily lives in this award-winning film

Set in the fast-growing factory city of Huzhou in eastern China, Bitter Money (Ku Qian) jumps between day-to-day moments in the lives of workers who migrated to the city in search of higher wages. Its title refers to a slang expression used in Huzhou to describe the hardships of living away from home and enduring the factories’ gruelling working conditions in order to earn an income. Opening with a shot of a teenage girl leaving her village for the city, and closing with the end of a production line, the film takes in the tragic ripple effect of violence and oppression stemming from the pyramid schemes and inhumane systems of industrialisation expanding in the city.

a woman sits on the sofa

Wang Bing Bitter Money 2016, film still. Courtesy Pyramide International

a girl falls asleep on a woman's shoulder in an airport

Wang Bing Bitter Money 2016, film still. Courtesy Pyramide International

Programme

Bitter Money (Ku Qian), 2016, DCP, colour, sound, 152 min, Mandarin with English subtitles

The Wang Bing: Traces series is programmed in parallel with the UK premiere of Dead Souls at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 27–28 November 2018

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

25 November 2018 at 13.00–16.00