Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上

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2015/08/28 第87期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份

紐時周報精選 Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上
Chinese Textiles, Made in America/中國紡織品生產地是美國


Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上
By Nicolas Rapold/王麗娟譯
There’s no shortage of jaw-dropping moments inHubert Sauper’s new film, “We Come as Friends,” an illustrated essay on contemporary colonialism.

于貝.索培赫(Hubert Sauper)的新電影《我們作為朋友而來》(We Come as Friends)是一部探討當代殖民主義、非劇情片的散文式電影,片中不乏令人瞠目結舌的片段。

But the most haunting may be a lightning-streaked nighttime visit to a South Sudanese tribal leader. Mr. Sauper brandishes a copy of a contract to confirm a terrible truth, and the leader’s moistening eyes and dejected bearing say everything. The old man has signed away thousands of hectares of land to a Texas firm.


“This was history unfolding in its best and most sarcastic form in front of my camera. And then the storm came,” Mr. Sauper said from Paris. “As a filmmaker, it’s too good to be true. And it’s terrifying.”


It’s one example of how Mr. Sauper, the Austrian-born director of “We Come as Friends,” portrays complicated contemporary realities through vivid and industrious reportage. Ten years ago his Academy Award-nominated documentary,“Darwin’s Nightmare,”sifted through the wreckage of globalization by way of the fishing export industry in Lake Victoria, the impact on local Tanzanians, and a fast-and-loose subculture of Russian cargo-plane pilots.

出生於奧地利的索培赫是《我們作為朋友而來》一片的導演,這是他如何透過生動報導描繪複雜當代現實的一個例子。10年前,他的紀錄片《達爾文的夢魘》(Darwin’s Nightmare)獲得奧斯卡金像獎提名,該片透過維多利亞湖的漁業出口、對坦尚尼亞當地人的衝擊、俄羅斯貨機機師的快速與寬鬆次文化等角度,檢視全球化的殘骸。

Mr. Sauper’s nonfiction films are an elegant hybrid of voracious, colorful portraiture and nervy investigation. “We Come as Friends” was ranked among the best of nonfiction in 2014 by the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine.


Flying a “tin-can” plane he built himself, the filmmaker flew across Sudan for two and a half years. “The starting point of the film was to track the psychology or pathology of colonialism,” Mr. Sauper said. “I didn’t know how much of it I would find in our days, in real life.”


He visited a cross-section of people, all part of history unfolding for better and worse: Sudanese losing their homes to rapacious development and war, confident Chinese engineers affirming their country’s superpower destiny, Texas missionaries working to clothe villagers, and a warlord turned politician who can’t remember the national anthem.


The plane afforded a rapid means of exit from all this when necessary, as well as being a potent metaphor for all-access Western influence. (He keeps the craft at his farm in France.) Far from a superficial travelogue, Mr. Sauper’s film gives a rare sense of human beings bearing the brunt of greater historical forces and powerful interests. He depicts a clash between indigenous cultures and wildcatting foreigners that has a long history in Africa.


“We Come as Friends” entailed no small amount of risk. Masked gunmen, malaria, a broken propeller and parasites that sidelined him to a wheelchair were among the hazards.


Told of a film textbook that divides the history of nonfiction filmmakers into explorers, reporters, painters and advocates, Mr. Sauper remembered the credit bestowed on a past collaborator, the writer Nick Flynn.


“There is a nice term called a ‘field poet,’ ” he said.



Chinese Textiles, Made in America/中國紡織品生產地是美國
By Hiroko Tabuchi/張佑生譯
INDIAN LAND, South Carolina – Twenty-five years ago, Ni Meijuan earned $19 a month working the spinning machines at a vast textile factory in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.


Now at the Keer Group’s cotton mill in South Carolina, which opened in March, Ms. Ni is training American workers to do the job she used to do.


“They’re quick learners,” Ms. Ni said after showing two fresh recruits how to tease errant wisps of cotton from the machines’ grinding gears. “But they have to learn to be quicker.”


Textile producers from formerly low-cost nations are starting to set up shop in America. It is part of a blurring of once seemingly clear-cut boundaries between high- and low-cost manufacturing nations that few would have predicted a decade ago.


Textile production inChinais becoming increasingly unprofitable after years of rising wages, higher energy bills and mounting logistical costs, as well as new government quotas on the import of cotton. At the same time, manufacturing costs in the United States are becoming more competitive. In Lancaster County, where Indian Land is located, Keer has found residents desperate for work, even at depressed wages, as well as access to cheap and abundant land and energy and heavily subsidized cotton.


Politicians, from the county to the state to the federal government, have raced to ply Keer with grants and tax breaks to bring back manufacturing jobs once thought to be lost forever.


The prospect of a sweeping Pacific trade agreement that is led by the United States, and excludes China, is also driving Chinese yarn companies to gain a foothold here, lest they be shut out of the lucrative American market.


Keer’s $218 million mill spins yarn from raw cotton to sell to textile makers across Asia. Keer still spins much of its yarn in China, importing the raw cotton from America, but that is changing.


“The reasons for Keer coming here? Incentives, land, the environment, the workers,” Zhu Shanqing, Keer’s chairman, said on a recent trip to the United States.


“In China, the whole yarn manufacturing industry is losing money,” he added. “In America, it’s very different.”


Since Beijing and Washington resumed trade relations in the early 1970s, the United States has mostly run a huge trade deficit, as Americans consumed billions of dollars in cheap electronics, apparel and other Chinese goods.


But surging labor and energy costs in China are eroding its competitiveness in manufacturing. According to the Boston Consulting Group, manufacturing wages adjusted for productivity almost tripled in China in a decade, to about $12.47 an hour last year from $4.35 an hour in 2004.


In the United States, manufacturing wages adjusted for productivity have risen less than 30 percent since 2004, to $22.32 an hour, according to the consulting firm. And the higher wages for American workers are offset by lower natural gas prices, as well as inexpensive cotton and local tax breaks and subsidies.


Today, for every $1 required to manufacture in the United States, Boston Consulting estimates that it costs 96 cents to manufacture in China. Yarn production costs in China are now 30 percent higher than in the United States, according to theInternational Textile Manufacturers Federation.


“Everybody believed that China would always be cheaper,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting. “But things are changing even faster than anyone imagined.”


Rising costs in China are causing a shift of some types of manufacturing to lower-cost countries like Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. In many cases, the exodus has been led by the Chinese themselves, who have aggressively moved to set up manufacturing bases elsewhere.


From 2000 to 2014, Chinese companies invested $46 billion on new projects and acquisitions in the United States. The Carolinas are now home to at least 20 Chinese manufacturers.


“I never thought the Chinese would be the ones bringing textile jobs back,” said Keith Tunnell, president of theLancaster County Economic Development Corporation.




老地方新魅力 澄清湖的前世今生

鏡頭下的加州風景 真是美不勝收啊!
說到「加州」(California) ,你會想到什麼呢?除了《Hotel California》、《加州陽光》……這些膾炙人口的歌曲外,其實加州的風景也是美不勝收,廢話不多說,一起來看看鏡頭捕捉到加州美景。


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