Film southasia

"Festival of southasian documentries"

China Exposé – A Showcase of Independent Documentary Films

China is undergoing the fastest economic growth and social transformation known in human history. Behind the fanfare surrounding the country’s growing stature are untold stories of struggle. With the country growing at breakneck speed, independent documentary filmmakers take on the mission to record unfolding realities and unearth stories of the past. Praised by international critics and regularly featured in major film festivals, their works capture China with a penetrating and unmatched sense of urgency and authenticity.

The six documentaries in this series, made between 2004 and 2011 by six filmmakers, highlight the themes of justice, economic growth, environment, urban life, and personal aspiration. Three filmmakers—Hu Jie, Huang Weikai, and Jian Yi—are scheduled to attend the series to share their experiences.

The series is programmed by independent curator La Frances Hui. Special thanks to Fan Lixin, Hu Jie, Huang Weikai, Jian Yi, Wang Jiuliang, Zhao Liang, Cat&Docs (Catherine LeClef, Maëlle Guenegues), dGenerate Films (Karin Chien), Icarus Films (Livia Bloom), and ina.fr (Sylvie Blum).

18-19 AUGUST 2012
YALA MAYA KENDRA, PATAN DHOKA

ENTRY AT NO CHARGE ON FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS!

FRIDAY, 17 AUGUST – OPENING FILM BY INVITATION ONLY

SUPER, GIRLS!
Dir. JIAN Yi. 2007. 73min. (Film maker attending)

Modeled after the “American Idol,” “Super Girls Singing Contest” took China by storm during its run from 2004 to 2006 drawing over 400 million television viewers. Nationwide audiences voted for their favorite contestants by sending in text messages. The overwhelming success made it an unparalleled pop culture phenomenon. In this fascinating documentary, filmmaker Jian Yi follows several teenagers on their quest to become China’s next superstars. Candid interviews reveal the inner thoughts and dreams of average youngsters in China.

SATURDAY, 18 AUGUST 2012

1 PM SEARCHING FOR LIN ZHAO’S SOUL
Dir. HU Jie. 2004. 115min. (Film maker attending)

In 1956, Mao Zedong launched the Hundred Flowers Campaign, which solicited citizens’ opinions on state policies. Surprised by the overwhelming voices of discontent, Mao quickly changed course and accused those who expressed their views as Rightists. One of which was Lin Zhao, a young, bright, and idealistic Peking University student. In prison, she continued her critique by writing on walls, bed sheets and any scraps of paper she could find using her own blood. Searching For Lin Zhao’s Soul poignantly uncovers this tragic and little known story.

4 PM PETITION
Dir. ZHAO Liang. 2009. 123min.

How does justice work in China for the powerless? Filmmaker Zhao Liang follows petitioners as they fight their causes all the way to Beijing from all over the country. While average citizens who find their legal cases mishandled at local levels are permitted to take their grievances to the Capital, few have success navigating the system. Arriving in Beijing and staying in shantytowns, many petitioners—most are from impoverished backgrounds—quickly fall into a legal limbo as they face ill-defined procedures, indefinite wait, and intimidation by hired thugs. Some are disillusioned but others steadfastly wait for justice to come.

6.30 PM BEIJING BESEIGED BY WASTE
Dir. WANG Jiuliang. 2011. 72 min.

With a population of about 20 million, the growing city of Beijing produces 30,000 tons of waste each day. Photographer/filmmaker Wang Jiuliang traveled around the city and visited 460 legal and illegal landfills from 2008 to 2010 to document the collection of garbage and excrement, the environmental calamity and the life cycles around these landfills, which include scavengers building a precarious livelihood, green spaces forming on top of waste, and livestock being fed trash. An informative and alarming portrait of urban ecology, the film has earned keen Chinese media coverage and the attention of government officials.

SUNDAY, 19 AUGUST 2012

1 PM SUPER, GIRLS!
Dir. JIAN Yi. 2007. 73min. (Film maker attending)

Modeled after the “American Idol,” “Super Girls Singing Contest” took China by storm during its run from 2004 to 2006 drawing over 400 million television viewers. Nationwide audiences voted for their favorite contestants by sending in text messages. The overwhelming success made it an unparalleled pop culture phenomenon. In this fascinating documentary, filmmaker Jian Yi follows several teenagers on their quest to become China’s next superstars. Candid interviews reveal the inner thoughts and dreams of average youngsters in China.

4 PM DISORDER
Dir. HUANG Weikai. 2009. 52min. (Film maker attending)

Meticulously assembled footage taken by journalists and amateur videographers reveals scenes of floods, traffic jams, arguments, police violence, accidents, and absurd happenings on the streets of China where humans and animals fight for room to survive. Filmmaker Huang Weikai’s scrupulous collage ingeniously conjures a unified picture of urban life spinning out of control. Combining a strong sense of urgency with an ironically stoic attitude, Disorder brings to the forefront the cost behind China’s urbanization and economic rise.

6 PM

LAST TRAIN HOME
Dir. FAN Lixin. 2009. 87min.

Every spring, 130 million migrant workers make their journey home from urban centers to spend Chinese New Year with their families—the only opportunity of the year. The massive migration sets off chaos at train and bus stations nationwide. Filmmaker Fan Lixin follows the Zhangs (husband and wife) on a two-day excruciating journey to their rural village. Like most families, their children are left behind with little supervision and care. When the Zhangs arrive home, they confront a rebellious teenage daughter who yearns for freedom and has set her mind to find work in a city. This film reveals the threat on family structure as workers are displaced throughout the country.

In collaboration with Sattya and New Nepali Cinema

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