Skip to content

Silent Nu River

Hu Jie

Release year: 2005

Run time: 30 mins

Film type: Documentary


In the mountains of China's Qinghai Province, there are countless small coal mines. The miners are all rural residents who live nearby, and their bodies are covered in coal dust from all the coal they must dig out each day to earn 500 yuan a month. The film records how they labour, the sounds of their heavy breathing, and what they see working far underground, while cherishing dreams of a better life, such as the kind we live.


Director biography

Hu Jie is an independent historian, artist, and filmmaker. Born in Jinan, Shandong in 1958, he graduated from the Art College of the People’s Liberation Army. He works in oils and woodcuts from his lakeside studio in Nanjing. His films are among the most important documents of China’s unacknowledged “unoffcial history”, and include Looking for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005), about a martyr-poet critic of Mao; and Though I Am Gone (2007), about an elite Beijing girls’ high school whose students murdered their headmaster at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.