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‘American Factory’ Review: The New Global Haves and Have-Nots

来源:纽约时报    2019-08-27 10:07

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        “The most important thing is not how much money we earn,” the Chinese billionaire Cao Dewang says in “American Factory” soon before we see him on a private jet. What’s important, he says, are Americans’ views toward China and its people.        “我们最最关键的,第一件事情不是赚多少钱的问题,”中国亿万富翁曹德旺在纪录片《美国工厂》(American Factory)中说,接着我们可以看到他在一架私人飞机上。他说,重要的是美国人对中国和中国人的看法。
        In 2016, Cao opened a division of Fuyao, his global auto-glass manufacturing company, in a shuttered General Motors factory near Dayton, Ohio. Blaming slumping S.U.V. sales, G.M. had closed the plant — known as the General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant — in December 2008, throwing thousands out of work the same month the American government began a multibillion dollar bailout of the auto industry. The Dayton factory remained idle until Fuyao announced it was taking it over, investing millions and hiring hundreds of local workers, numbers it soon increased.        2016年,曹德旺在俄亥俄州代顿附近一座弃置的通用汽车(General Motors)工厂里,为他的全球汽车玻璃制造公司福耀开设了一个分厂。由于SUV销量下滑,通用汽车于2008年12月关闭了这家名为通用汽车莫雷恩装配厂的工厂,导致数千人失业,就在同一个月里,美国政府开始对汽车工业进行数十亿美元的救助。代顿工厂一直处于闲置状态,直到福耀宣布接管,投资数百万美元,雇佣数百名当地工人,厂方很快追加了这个数字。
        The veteran filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, who are a couple and live outside of Dayton, documented the G.M. plant when it closed. They included the image of the last truck rolling off the line in their 2009 short, “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.” That crystallizing image also appears in “American Factory,” which revisits the plant six years later. The feature-length story they tell here is complex, stirring, timely and beautifully shaped, spanning continents as it surveys the past, present and possible future of American labor. (This is the first movie that Barack and Michelle Obama’s company Higher Ground Productions is releasing with Netflix.)        住在代顿郊外的资深电影人史蒂文·博格纳尔(Steven Bognar)和朱莉娅·赖克特(Julia Reichert)夫妇记录了通用汽车工厂关闭时的情况。在2009年的短片《最后一辆卡车:关闭一家通用汽车工厂》(The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant)中,他们展现了最后一辆卡车下线的画面。这个生动的画面也出现在六年后重新审视这家工厂的《美国工厂》中。在这部长片中,他们讲述的故事复杂、激动人心、恰逢其时、有着优美的结构;它跨越两个大洲,同时审视了美国劳工的过去、现在和可能的将来。(这是贝拉克·奥巴马[Barack Obama]和米歇尔·奥巴马[Michelle Obama]的公司Higher Ground Productions与Netflix合作推出的第一部电影。)
        “American Factory” opens with a brief, teary look back at the plant’s closing that sketches in the past and foreshadows the difficult times ahead. The story proper begins in 2015 amid the optimistic bustle of new beginnings, including a rah-rah Fuyao presentation for American job seekers. Bognar and Reichert, who shot the movie with several others — the editor is Lindsay Utz — have a great eye for faces and they quickly narrow in on the range of expressions in the room. Some applicants sit and listen stoically; one woman, her hand over her mouth, gently rocks in her seat, tapping out a nervous rhythm as the Fuyao representative delivers his pitch.        《美国工厂》以一个充满泪水的简短回顾作为开头,讲述了工厂的关闭,勾勒出它的过去,预示了它即将面对的艰难时期。故事从2015年工厂新开端的欢乐喧嚣开始,其中包括福耀举办的一场面向美国求职者的热闹宣讲会。博格纳尔和赖克特与其他几个人合作拍摄了这部电影——剪辑是林赛·乌兹(Lindsay Utz)——他们善于捕捉面孔,很快将注意力放在了房间里各异的表情上。在福耀代表做出陈述时,有些求职者坐在那里,泰然自若地倾听;一个女人用手捂着嘴,在自己的座位上以一种紧张的节奏轻轻摇晃。
        With detail and sweep, interviews and you-are-there visuals, the filmmakers quickly establish a clear, strong narrative line as the new enterprise — Fuyao Glass America — gets off the ground. The optimism of the workers is palpable; the access the filmmakers secured remarkable. Bognar and Reichert spent a number of years making “American Factory,” a commitment that’s evident in its layered storytelling and the trust they earned. American and visiting Chinese workers alike open their homes and hearts, including Wong He, an engaging, quietly melancholic furnace engineer who speaks movingly of his wife and children back in China.        随着新的企业——福耀玻璃美国公司的成立,通过局部、全景镜头、采访和身临其境的视觉效果,摄制者迅速建立起清晰、有力的叙事线。工人们的乐观情绪显而易见;电影人获得了非同寻常的机会,同各种人接触。博格纳尔和赖克特花了数年时间制作《美国工厂》,从故事的层次性和他们赢得的信任中,可以看出他们下了多大的工夫。美国工人和来访的中国工人都欢迎他们走进家门,并且向他们敞开心扉,其中包括王鹤(音)。他是一个吸引人、安静、忧郁的熔炉工程师,用感人的声音说起他在中国的妻子和孩子。
        His is just one story in an emotionally and politically trenchant chronicle of capitalism, propaganda, conflicting values and labor rights. As the factory ramps up, optimism gives way to unease, dissent and fear. Some workers are hurt, others are at risk; glass breaks, tempers fray. Both the Chinese and American management complain about production and especially about the American workers who, in turn, seem mainly grateful for a new shot. A forklift operator named Jill Lamantia is living in her sister’s basement when we first meet her. A job at Fuyao allows her to move into her own apartment, but like everyone else she struggles with the company’s demands.        然而在这部记述了资本主义、宣传、冲突的价值观和劳工权利,在情感上和政治上都十足尖锐的影片中,他只是其中一个小故事。随着工厂的扩张,乐观情绪变成了不安、异议和恐惧。一些工人受伤,一些工人面临危险;玻璃会碎,人的情绪也会爆发。中美两国的管理层都在抱怨生产问题,尤其是抱怨美国工人,然而这些工人大部分似乎对新的机会是心存感激的。第一次看到吉尔·拉曼蒂亚(Jill Lamantia)时,她住在姐姐的地下室里。福耀的工作让她可以搬进自己的公寓,但和其他人一样,她也在努力适应公司的要求。
        By the time the documentary shifts to China, for a visit by American managers to the Fuyao mother ship, it has become clear that something will have to give. The American subsidiary is losing money and Chairman Cao, as he’s called, is not happy. His frustration can seem amusing, but as his dissatisfaction mounts, the temperature grows colder and management becomes openly hostile. For viewers who have never peered inside a Chinese factory, these scenes — with their singalongs, team-building exercises and extravagant pageants — may seem strange or perhaps a gung-ho variation on contemporary corporate management practice (cue the next Apple confab).        当纪录片的镜头转到中国,美方管理人员访问福耀旗舰厂时,情况已经变得很清楚,必须做出一些让步。这家美国子公司正在亏损,被人们称作曹主席的曹德旺并不高兴。他的烦恼有时让人忍俊不禁,但随着不满的加剧,气氛变得越来越冷,管理层开始显出公开的敌意。对于从未见识过中国工厂的观众来说,片中的场景——包括他们的合唱、团建和豪华庆典——可能看起来很奇怪,也可能是当代企业管理实践的一种狂热变体(想想下一场苹果公司的大会)。
        “American Factory” is political without being self-servingly didactic or strident, connecting the sociopolitical dots intelligently, sometimes with the help of a stirring score from Chad Cannon that evokes Aaron Copland. The filmmakers don’t villainize anyone, though a few participants come awfully close to twirling waxed mustaches, like an American manager who jokes to a Chinese colleague that it would be a good idea to duct-tape the mouths of talky American workers. It’s a shocking exchange — only the Chinese manager appears concerned that they’re on camera — simply because of the openness of the antagonism toward the company’s own labor force.        《美国工厂》是政治性的,但没有为自身利益服务的说教或嘶喊,而是巧妙地将社会政治上的一个个点连接起来,查德·坎农(Chad Cannon)创作的扣人心弦、让人想起阿隆·科普兰(Aaron Copland)的配乐,对此起到了不少帮助。电影没有将任何人树立为反派,不过有些人已经非常接近了,比如一个美方管理人员和中国同事开玩笑说,最好用胶带把那些喋喋不休的美国工人的嘴封起来。单是从这种对本公司劳工毫不掩饰的敌意来看,这都是一段令人震惊的对话——只有中方经理好像还在担心有镜头在拍摄。
        It’s these men and women — Timi Jernigan, John Crane, Shawnea Rosser, Robert Allen and so many others — whose optimism and disappointment give the movie its emotional through-line and whose stories stand in contrast to Cao’s own self-made tale. He recalls that the China of his youth was poor; now he is, according to Forbes, one of “China’s richest” and his hobbies include golfing and collecting art. You see the fruits of his endeavors in “American Factory,” in scenes of him relaxing and pontificating. And working too, of course, always working, including in a luxurious office where a couple of socialist realist paintings show him against the sky like a sleekly updated Mao — an image that the filmmakers linger on, letting its meaning bloom like a hundred flowers.        而片中那些男男女女——蒂米·杰尼甘(Timi Jernigan)、约翰·克雷恩(John Crane)、肖尼娅·罗瑟(Shawnea Rosser)、罗伯特·艾伦(Robert Allen)等等——他们的乐观和失望让这部电影有了情感上的贯穿,他们的故事与曹德旺自己讲述的故事形成了鲜明对比。他回忆起他年轻时,中国很穷;如今,据《福布斯》(Forbes)报道,他是“中国最富有的人”之一,他的爱好包括高尔夫和艺术品收藏。在《美国工厂》里他那些放松和夸夸其谈的场景中,可以看到他努力的成果。当然,在工作场合也是如此,他总是在工作,包括在一间豪华的办公室里,墙上挂着几幅社会主义现实主义绘画,画中他抬头仰望,像是一个当代版的毛泽东——电影人让镜头久久停留在这个画面,让人们对它产生“百花齐放”的联想。

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