Pingyao Festival Palace


An abandoned diesel engine factory is now a cinema-restaurant-souvenir shop complex, and the venue of the Pingyao International Film Festival. There's an open-air theatre and five auditoriums. The cinema, in a cavernous socialist-era building, is open year-round to entertain the cultured with its thoughtfully curated program of art-house and award-winning mainstream films. The film festival and the palace were founded by celebrated Shanxi director Jia Zhangke (贾樟柯). The compound is quiet outside the film festival (October).

Within the courtyard, there are two red-blooded Cultural Revolution slogans that have survived on buildings. The one on the left intones: 工业学大庆 (Industry should learn from Dàqìng); the rarer slogan on the right proclaims: 认真搞好斗批改 (Earnestly undertake struggle, criticism and reform).

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