If you haven't seen it yet, make a mental note to catch "La stella che non c'è" ("The Missing Star") when it shows at a theater near you, or to grab it when it comes out on DVD. It's the newest movie by Italian director Gianni Amelio, a maestro.
The story in short: Vincenzo Buonavolontà (literally "Vincent Goodwill", played by a perfect Sergio Castellitto, picture below)
is the maintenance manager at an Italian steel mill that has been shut
down. In an old-vs-new-industrial-country theme, the furnace is being
sold to China. Vincenzo knows of a potentially dangerous structural
flaw in a control unit, tries to alert the Chinese, but can't get their
attention and the furnace is shipped. Vincenzo is a worker who cherishes values that seem today regrettably out of fashion:
loyalty, a job well done. He decides to travel to Shanghai, where he
discovers that the furnace has already been resold by brokers who have
little interest in what he has to say. With the help of a translator,
Liu Hua (convincingly played by newcomer Tai Ling), he travels through
the cityscapes and landscapes and industry-scapes of contemporary China
searching for the furnace. Amelio clearly uses Vincenzo's quest (for
the furnace as well as for himself, mirrored in Liu Hua's own
tribulations) as an excuse for a quasi-documentary about today's China and its extreme paradoxes, immense scale, absurd contrasts and engaging growth. If you've never been to China, that's a reason by itself to see this movie.