Synopsis by Nathan Southern
As China evolved into a global economic superpower during the early 21st century, a darker and more seldom-discussed side to the equation emerged. Beijing checked in as the most thriving construction sector in the world, thanks to events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics and China's official entry into the WTO, but the 80-120 million construction workers appointed to make this transformation a reality received pitifully low, almost subhuman wages, and their jobs involved toiling for untoward lengths of time, often with the strain of exhaustion and under the aegis of inept and careless contractors who put their safety at risk. Moreover (as the documentary Up the Yangtze eloquently demonstrated), a shift toward capitalism and consumerism means burying thousands of years of indigenous and irreplaceable Chinese history and culture. As helmed by Guo Xiaolu, the documentary The Concrete Revolution focuses exclusively on exploring the dark side of the construction boom and the cultural fallout from China's transformation into an economic superpower.
China, construction, consumerism, expose [revelation], hardships, labor-issues, modernization, Olympic-Games, transformation, WTO (World Trade Organization)