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AGE: College, Adult, A.P. Time: Approx. 50 Min. Ea. DVDs: 15
DVD: $175.00      DVD Series: $2,600.00         
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Today, communist ideals are thrown over board, one by one. They are replaced with a strange mixture of ultra-liberal recipes and Chinese solidarity, the ideology of which is yet to be written. This is the backdrop for an outstanding collection of compelling documentaries by Chinese filmmakers that tell us about the joys and sorrows, the highs and lows, the dreams and the deceptions of ordinary Chinese people.

Documentaries include:

Parkour Jumpers
A film by HAO Zhi Qiang
In many of today’s cities around the world, for the young, Parkour has become a hobby they relate to easily, a different activity offering a new identity. Beyond boundaries and religions, this extreme sport allows youngsters to create their own universe, far away from the old-fashioned and banal world of grown-ups. Here in Urumqi, the Capital of Xinjiang, China’s Muslim province, we follow the adventures of a few young Uighurs who unite to form a small Parkour team that has big ambitions.

Forever Runner: LU Chiu's Battle For A New Life
A film by JANG Dajung
LU Chiu is 32 when she starts to run with the sports team of her Taiwanese company. Very quickly she recognizes her passion for the sport and over a few years becomes the most celebrated multi-winning Marathon Champion of Taiwan. But her ambition drives her further when she participates in the Trans-Gaule in France, 60 miles each day for 17 straight days. She will finish the race in second place but will pay a steep price for her effort. On day one of the race she neglects a bacterial infection that developed on her foot, which ultimately spreads to her entire leg, ending in it being amputated. Upon her return to Taiwan, and with great determination and extraordinary courage, Chiu has to reinvent herself for a new life that does not include running.

The Final Migration
A film by HUANG Lingping
In this documentary, we follow the twenty-three families strong nomadic Guoshan tribe, a sub-group of Yaos. They follow a thousand year old tradition of selecting a new temporary home every two or three generations, usually distancing themselves from their previous temp-home by several hundreds of miles.
Provided now with a substantial piece of land for them to build their own permanent village and farm their own land, the tribe’s leader as well as thirty members decide to precede the tribe’s move. Although they have a strong sense of community they are used to operating individually for their survival. In this instance, as they learn to become farmers, it has been decided between them to operate under a collective scheme, just as in the early days of China’s communist revolution. This documentary is a perfect model, in short form, of what has happened in the whole country during half a century: Chinese farmers are thrown into collectivism until, with the economic reforms of the 1980’s, they return to individual forms of labor. The stage is set for the deepest social and economic transformations as we have witnessed in China’s recent years.

Flavor & Affinity: Behind The Scenes of Canton's Chao Restaurants
A film by WANG Feng
The Jin Cheng restaurant in China's Chao region has a reputation for excellence due to its "Chao" specialties. To guarantee the authenticity of "Chao" flavors, the supplying of fish, shellfish and tofu, among others, must come from the original source…where the skills of this ethnic group are still applied in accordance with the ancestral rules and where the quality and freshness of the products is indisputable. Nothing can be properly done if the traditions are not respected. A fascinating documentary on Chinese culture, traditional skills and ethnic belonging.

The Graduates
A film by Song GAO
This Song GAO directed documentary follows the stories of Feng Haitao, Li Yuchun, and Jin Lian after they graduate from the Sichuan Normal University. As they seek employment in one of China’s largest cities, Chengdu, the program makes us question the validity of a college diploma and whether wealth is more important than education. Following each graduate from the moment they receive their diplomas, we track their highs and lows as the pressures of the modern world are thrust upon them. As we become more connected with their lives we start to wonder that even with China's growing influence in the world, are there still enough jobs for China’s next generation of graduates?
Heavy Metal
A film by JIN Huaqing
For more then twenty years, tons and tons of metallic and electronic waste from all around the world has been transported to a Chinese town called Fengjang, in the south of Shanghai. Around 50,000 migrant workers have formed a real army to dismantle these metallic wastes. These "green soldiers" decompose, cut, split and recycle, with the most rudimentary means, almost 2 million tons of garbage every year. To remain and assume the minimum materials that is theirs, they work hard, bear an incredible precariousness and put in danger their own health due to the simply unacceptable working conditions. As the recognizable heaps of metal continue to pile up they provide a deeply moving image of a worldwide consumer society.

Cotton: A Journey Inside An Iconic Chinese Industry
A film by ZHOU Hao
Cotton is one of the most intensive industries in China. From the cotton plantations of Xinjiang in the northwest to the “Fashion Weeks” in the south, passing by the spinning factories as well as the jean manufacturers , we will follow the critical path of China’s White Gold. Since the economic reforms of the 80’s, a whole generation of Chinese citizens is exposed to the challenges of the “New Deal” proposed by their leaders. This film's director, Zhou Hao, takes us on a behind the scenes tour of this iconic industry allowing witness to the mergence of a new society where competition has become the new order, where “winning” is the credo, with a society built on a class system established by the communist ideals of Mao Zedong.

The New Shelter

A film by ZHENG Xiaolei and Lin LI
A terrible flood destroys the home of the AH family in a small village in China’s Southern Guangdong province. Life was already a constant struggle for them, but this disaster turns their existence into a nightmare. Over a period of 12-months the filmmaker follows the family during the challenging period of building a new shelter. During this time they will have to confront many obstacles, material and emotional as well as those associated with local and regional governments, which in the end profoundly changes them forever.

Of Mothers and Daughters
A film by ZHENG Xiaolei
There are more than 2,500 pensioners living in a large private retirement home located in a suburb of Canton (Guangzhou), China. As we discover the daily lives of these people, the film focuses on the lives of two elderly ladies: Ms. Kuang and Ms Xie. The documentary reveals how today's urban China can be reflected by the story of these two women, who find themselves away from their families, in a retirement home. Here, in the wake of serious health considerations, they have to build new relationships, define a new rhythm to their daily life and invent new ways to be with others.

The Yangtze River’s Green Sailors
A film by CHEN FU
Descending from a long line of fishermen on the Yangtze River, Liu Gujun had to redefine his professional activity when the construction of the famous Three Gorges Dam began. His father, who has recently passed away, had to stop fishing the river due the growing pollution that the dam has created and asked his son to start cleaning the river. In the Chinese tradition of respect for the elder, Lui Gujon took the last wishes of his father very seriously. As such, he puts all his energy and invests every penny of his personal wealth into the ambitious project of cleaning up the river. For lack of sufficient grants from the government, Liu even contracts heavy loans to build a small flotilla of cleaning boats. By observing the daily lives of these "green sailors" on their small vessels, we are privileged to witness their unsafe and unrelenting struggle. If before the construction of the dam, nobody had anticipated this floating waste problem, today, nobody can continue to ignore the evidence of this ecological disaster.


The Big Family
A Film by HUANG Lingping
Zhou Zhi, the patriarch of the family, rules strictly following the handed-down ‘hereditary tradition’: listening to no one. In the face of new economic challenges, he decides and acts totally arbitrarily. Unable to adapt himself to “modern times”, not the least because of his stubbornness, he runs into heavy debt putting the family in great financial difficulty. Turning to his daughters and sons-in-law for support, he receives a cold welcome. Around the almost larger-than-life patriarchal figure of Zhou Zhi, this film vividly portrays the difficulties of an ordinary Chinese family, with its members having to change their lifestyle in the face of economic difficulties and a shifting culture.

Three Strings For Two Storytellers
A Film by ZHANG Wenqing
The very ancient tradition of a storyteller going from one valley to the next spreading news from the outside world is in decline. A couple with great experience with this street art, Gai Ying Mu and her husband Gai Ming He, only perform upon request. Unfortunately, to make a living from this art has become more and more difficult. Now, ten years after first filming, the Director returns to the family when the couple is to give a performance in a neighboring valley. Even if the casting of the little orchestra is bigger – three young apprentices now accompany the duo – the few spectators are much less enthusiastic than before. However, the show goes on and our couple adapts the old stories to current realities. The tradition of ancient storytelling remains alive: ancestral China stands up against the assaults of modernity.

The Last Village
A Film by QIU Xiaojun
In Gansu Province, the Minquin community struggles with the affects of desertification. Surrounded by the Tengri and Badanjilin deserts, the villages of the region are beginning to be engulfed underneath sand dunes. Many villagers decide to leave their homeland. However, several elders have chosen to stay. They prefer instead to remain close to their roots and try to fight against desertification by planting trees. Following the story of these peoples, we are immersed in one of the worldwide ecological battles of the 21st Century. Desertification is a problem that largely overwhelms the Chinese frontiers. But on a broader scale, many environmental specialists claim that one third of the earth’s surfaces are threatened by this phenomenon. It is a story we should all heed.

Hard Old Rock
A Film by SHAN Zuolong
As a young man, Zheng was a wild boy: he’d rather spend his time gambling and dancing than studying. But his exuberant way of life came to an end when, during the Cultural Revolution, he was charged with counter-revolutionary behavior and sent to prison. Now, he lives in the boarding house of Shuanglin Town, and is a silent witness to the last chapter of his own, lonely Life. Unyielding to his neighbors, to his society, to its History, as well as to the omnipresent Chinese system, he realizes that he is even almost independent of himself. This intimate and respectful portrait of a striking 83-year-old Chinese citizen offers us an inside view into the way China treats its Seniors and gives us the opportunity to better understand China’s contemporary History.

Piano Dream
A Film by JUANQIAN Han
Yin Hong and her husband were born in the 50’s. The Cultural Revolution dramatically impacted their youth; there was no place for any artistic expression. Yet they loved music and they have a gifted son, Lu Nan, who today is 15 year’s old. “Piano Dream” is a story about parents investing everything they have for their only child’s success. It is a  dream journey binding two generations. The film brings attention to a woman’s choice and fate, probing the impact of her dream on her son’s maturation and their relationship. It shows the son’s bitterness to a point where one  asks oneself if the mother's dream is not becoming her son’s nightmare. Filmed over a period of nearly three years, this documentary keeps faithful to real life, but maintains a poetic feel. 

2012 to 2017 DVD Release
Duplication, Digital and ITV rights available