The film “24 City” shot by Jia Zhangke is a touching episode in the history of China that reveals the tradition and high culture of the Chinese people. This is a story about various generations of people which lives were stringed to a plant that produced the fighting aviation arsenal. The hardness and sadness of their lives and later the realization of the greater part of major aspects of their life comes to realization by these people in the course of time.
The Story Says
The story says that city officials decided to demolish the old factory in Chengdu to build a new elite residential complex "City 24" in its place. In the center of the story are the representatives of three different generations: elderly workers that were fired in connection with the closing of the plant, retired plant manager and young yuppies that were future tenants of a luxury complex. Taken together, their stories add up to a great story of today's China. According to Bakhtin: “The life of the word is contained in its transfer from one mouth to another, from one context to another context, from one social collective to another and from one generation to another generation. In this process the word does not forget its own path and cannot completely free itself from the power of those concrete contexts into which it has entered.
The documentary-fictional film under analysis is a revealing story of how the life is understood by people with the help of time and through the experience from other people’s life. As Bakhtin states that artwork in the word should understand everything completely in all its aspects, as the phenomenon of language (Bakhtin, 1994). That is, purely linguistically, without any regard for its main mission and task in the literature as the aesthetic object should be disclosed only within the scientific laws that govern its material side. The whole story in the film “24 City” is depicted through the words of people who see their stories of their life after so many years and they admit that sometimes they were not right.
Some of them are sad about the specific moments for example those when they were fired and asked the manager about the reasons of their firing from their positions. The reason was simple – there were lack of orders and there were not enough financing what led to shortage of money for the workers and the only reasonable decision for the administration was cutting the number of people who worked at the plant.
There were a lot of love stories that were not so happy because there were no happy endings to those stories. The younger generation understands the older ones through the course of time. This understanding comes hard to the minds of every character depicted in the film and this proves the fact that this film is a combination of all the different thoughts and minds of people though different generations. Every story has its specific style that determines the general line which leads the watchers through the whole story. According to Bakhtin, he says to this point that every style is inextricably linked with the expression and the typical form of expression, that is, speech genres. Any utterance – oral, written, primary and secondary, and in any field of speech communication – individual and therefore can reflect the personality of the speaker or writer, or a film maker in this case, that is, to have an individual style. Moreover, through these touching stories Jia Zhangke depicts the importance of the certain object – the plant to the fates of the great number of people that have their memories through the course of time and have their pain in them together with the sorrow about their losses and not reasonable decisions that were unconsciously made in their past. If to refer to Bakhtin analysis on this point, it is necessary to point out that objective aesthetic analysis that helps the people to understand the external physical works, how does the aesthetic object works or exists, or how it is important as the technical apparatus of aesthetic accomplishment. The whole story is a dramatic novel that reveals the importance of understanding the past and making conclusions for the successful future.
As Bakhtin states: “The novel is a purely compositional form of organization of verbal masses. It is an aesthetic object or an architectonic form of artistic completion of the historical or social events, which form a kind of epic conclusion”. The language that Jia Zhangke uses in his film is also one of the major objects that enlarge the whole image of the story. The film maker uses specific literary language because literary language – is a complex dynamic system of linguistic styles, their weight and their relationships in the system of literary language are in constant change (Bakhtin, 1994). Language of literature is the organized system which is more complex and is based on different principles, which includes non-literary language and style.
To understand the complex historical dynamics of these systems to the simple or the surface level of the description is necessary to refer to the present and successive styles that go to the historical explanation of these changes. The stories that were depicted in the movie show the history of the whole country and prove that every part of human life and especially the working place is important and works as a special treatment of the history and revealed through the speech genres and not only secondary, but also primary, that were filmed with the help of real people fates and accompanied with some fictional stories as well. These stories are great and are the keys to the necessary answers, which are more directly responsive and adaptive to the people and reflect all changes occurring in society during those times. Statements and their types like speech genres are the drive belts from the history of society in the history of the language. No new phenomenon, like phonetic, lexical or grammatical can enter into the language system, without making a long and difficult road genre and stylistic testing and refinement. As well as no life of fate story that is depicted in the person’s life can go through the history and leave no sign of their presence to the importance of the story of the whole country.