The Iron Ministry

Premiere DateOct 20, 2015
00:00 The Iron Ministry
01:50 Interest in Trains
03:43 China's Railroad System
06:28 Filming on the Train
08:42 Social Spaces
13:28 Train Workers
16:06 Seeing China
21:02 Chinese Reactions to the Film
22:52 Narrative and Documentary
25:10 Sound Design
29:52 Trains on Film
32:05 Anthropology, Ethnography, etc…
35:36 Finish

This week on the show I talk with filmmaker and anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki about his new documentary The Iron Ministry. J.P. spent three years traveling through China by train, and in the film  he weaves countless trips across the country into one impressionistic journey full of people, sound, and clanking metal. In our interview we talk about the Chinese rail system, non-narrative documentary, and what it’s like to shoot a film on a train.

Beijing apartments –  Still from The Iron Ministry

Dining Car – Still from The Iron Ministry

Two girls sleeping – Still from The Iron Ministry

Man and meat – Still from The Iron Ministry


Host Thomas
Thomas grew up in Northern California where he fell in love with music and photography while going to punk shows and shooting skate photos. He photography in college, which may or may not qualify him to host an…