A Pile of Ghosts takes the stage-like qualities of the settings as the starting point for a puzzling game. It shows construction workers and real estate brokers at work—in authentic and also staged settings, in casting scenes and in changing roles. The so-called reality, at the same time, turns out to be increasingly porous, also hard lines of rupture become increasingly apparent in the retort-like surroundings. In the tumbledown “Swallow Hotel” in the hills of Chongqing, amidst persistent noises the dandyesque hotel owner Charles defies the turbo-capitalist urbanization process.
Dead new buildings and ruins, brokers and actors, documentation and fiction, simulation and lived experience: A Pile of Ghosts layers the seemingly disparate building blocks to form the title’s “pile.” In the end, one ghost story absorbs the other.
The film is screened in cooperation with POLIS University.