Lucy Sante

Lucy Sante (1954) is a Belgian writer, cultural historian and critic. In the early 1960s, she and her family settled in the United States. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and Artforum. Her books include Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991), Evidence (1992), The Factory of Facts (1998), O. K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors (1998), Walker Evans (1999), Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007), Folk Photography (2009), Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music And Photography (2009), The Other Paris (2015) and more recently Maybe The People Would Be The Times (2020).

Lucy Sante, 2009

Wang Bing’s film is at once epic and intimate – epic because of the sheer scale of the constructions, and the long, straight railroad tracking shots Wang employs to render its geography; intimate because of its focus on the daily life of the last workers and the soon-to-be displaced. Wang’s film is not journalistic in that it does not show us, for example, the bureaucrats who made the various life-altering decisions, and it doesn’t show the rest of Shenyang – the bourgeois neighborhoods, shops, hotels, highways.