The Iron Ministry, 2015

The Iron Ministry

with J.P. Sniadecki
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 7:00pm


Filmed over three years on China’s railways, J.P. Sniadecki's masterful documentary traces the vast interiors of a country on the move: flesh and metal, clangs and squeals, light and dark, language and gesture. Scores of rail journeys come together into one, capturing the thrills and anxieties of social and technological transformation. The Iron Ministry immerses audiences in fleeting relationships and uneasy encounters between humans and machines on what will soon be the world's largest railway network. "Vivid and mysterious and full of life." — A.O. Scott, New York Times

(J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2015, DCP, 83 min.)

A reception at 6:00PM will precede the screening.

A roundtable discussion, moderated by Dominique Bluher (Cinema and Media Studies), will follow the screening. Roundtable participants will include director J.P. Sniadecki, Julie Y. Chu (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology), and Paola Iovene (Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations).

J.P. Sniadecki is a filmmaker and media anthropologist whose work explores collective experience, sensory ethnography, and the possibilities of cinema. His award-winning films have screened at festivals such as the Berlinale, Locarno, New York Film Festival, American Film Institute, the Viennale, BAFICI, Ambulante, Hot Docs, Torino, San Francisco International Film Festival, the Beijing Independent Film Festival, as well as the Guggenheim and the MoMA in New York, the MAC in Vienna, the UCCA in Beijing, the 2014 Whitney Biennale, the 2014 Shenzhen Biennale, and the 2014 Shanghai Biennale. He teaches in the Documentary Media MFA program at Northwestern University.

Co-presented by the 2016 Department of Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Student conference.

This is the first screening in a two-part series presented in conjunction with the Department of Cinema and Media Studies 2016 Graduate Student Conference, Still Walking, Still Sleeping, Still Life: Slow Aesthetics and the Moving Image (April 22-23). The conference is organized by Zain Jamshaid (Ph.D. student, CMS), Katerina Korola (Ph.D. student, CMS), and Pao-Chen Tang (Ph.D. student, CMS), and is co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Mass Culture Workshop at the University of Chicago, and the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council.