This film was part of the 2017 Camden International Film Festival

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Commodity City

Commodity City is a character study of the largest commodity goods market foregrounding the daily lives of vendors who facilitate the flow of the world’s disposable possessions. This is Yiwu International Trade Market (aka Commodity City), which supplies the planet’s cheap merchandise in a city south-west of Shanghai. The products come directly from factories within China and nearly any imaginable consumer good may be purchased in this sprawling mall. The everyday items like Christmas decorations, fake flowers and sippy mugs leave China to end up in dollar stores internationally. The film explores the routines and rhythms of a space that is both permanent yet transitory, which operates according to the fluctuating demands of the global economy. In the midst of the ephemeral qualities of the market, vendors occupy their stalls each day from nine to five. The film focuses on the people who work in the markets around whom goods pass on their trajectory from production to consumption. At first the vendors nearly blend into the products they sell appearing indistinct from the arrays of nail clippers and easily get lost in the fake flower stalls. Their lives unfold against the uniform backdrop of their livelihood, but in-between the buying and selling the minutiae of their lives add up to express something far more rich and complex than at first meets the eye. By reflecting on facets of a place central to the constant orbit of the mundane interactions of consumer society Commodity City brings to the fore the lives of the many who run this global trade.

Film Details

Title: Commodity City
Year: 2017
Director: Jessica Kingdon
Producer: Kira Simon-Kennedy, Daniel Cooper
Country: USA, China
Runtime: 10 mins
Category: Shorts

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