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AGE: Teens, Adult Time: 60 - 90 Min. Ea. DVDs: 7
DVD: $175.00 Ea.      DVD Series: $1,225.00         
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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:

Searching For YU Bin
French with English subtitles

A film by Jean-Christophe YU
Following the many letters written by his grandfather YU Bin, filmmaker Jean-Chritophe-Yu rediscovers both the hope and despair of Chinese history of the last century. Intermingled with the great history, the fate of YU Bin is revealed as a compelling, sometimes poetic, but always interesting human adventure. The numerous historical references and their unique relationship with the personal events discovered through the eyes of Yu Bin transcend the family setting to become universal. In many ways, the film helps us to better understand little known facts about China in the first half of the last century.

Generation 90
French with English subtitles
A film by HE Wenzhong
The Chinese generation born in the 90s has not experienced the years of rationing, hunger, deprivation or intense work their parents and grandparents were exposed to. On the contrary, often the only child, many of today's young people benefitted from a new wealth and enjoyed an adolescence in very favorable conditions. While they are more than ever faced with the challenges of our modern, connected and globalized world, they wonder about the place that should be given to the old traditions of their country. Contemporary Chinese youth are plagued with doubts about the model of society that it is being proposed, while the councils of elders no longer have the impact they once had. Today, at the dawn of their adult lives, they raise the question of their future.

Blossom With Tears
A film by JIN Huaqing
Children studying at the Wuqiao Acrobatics School in China are completely aware of what their parents expect of them. They have been enrolled at an early age, live in this boarding school and must succeed, no matter what it costs. However, not all the children blossom, not all of them become stars. Xiang was forced by his father to enter the school, because he thought his child was not smart enough to study books. But Xiang has a problem; he does not have the same flexibility as his teammates who blame him for his mistakes and want him to change teams because they fear they will not be selected. Yuan is a member of the female team of Plate Spinning. Yuan lives day by day with unbearable responsibility. She fears that, if she fails, she would work in the fields for the rest of her life.

Empty City
A film by JIN Huaqing
Yumen was the first Chinese town where oil was discovered. At that time, the town was destined to be an example for small rural Chinese villages. The government invested so much to realize the Chinese dream: an active economy bringing its inhabitants richness. But soon resources run out and big oil companies abandon the town, leaving behind empty buildings and unemployment for all the immigrants who came looking for a job. Fifty years later the town is unrecognizable, a ghost city. There are only desolate landscapes end empty buildings left. The only people who live there are elderly and sick. They are resigned to die in this place, forgotten by their family.

Madam Duan
A collective film production
Striving for dignity and a meaningful life in the stream of economic reforms, Duan is a street cleaner in Canton. She lost her ability to speak at a very young age due to an accident. Nevertheless, she manages to do her job well. Every morning before dawn, when everybody else is still asleep, she begins her new day; cleaning and tidying up the streets of the neighborhood. Her husband, who originates from the same village, works in Canton as well. Together they share a humble flat and struggle to earn a living. During the years of economic reforms, the accumulated  new wealth is not spread equally across the society. Even so, Duan and her husband are doing their best to live an honest and meaningful existence.

Nine Lives of Mr. Lee
A film by LEI Gaozhen
Mr. Lee is 93, born in the South of China. Coming from a modest peasant background, he has been a self-taught, independent soul all his life. He has managed to repeatedly reinvent himself, enabling him to live a varied and colorful existence. After 93 years, Lee wants to reconnect to his roots. But as he returns to his native village, his 8 sons and daughters from his peasant past are not pleased. They are quick to remind him that he abandoned them. On top of which he disgraced the family by appearing nude, as a model, in front of young students at arts school: according to them, this is something incompatible with “decent living”. Although he is their father, he cannot be part of their family anymore. So, he has to confront prejudice again, just as before. But as always, he remains true to himself.

River of Art
A film by Charlene SHIH
In this documentary LIU’s drawings and paintings come to life and accompany us on the artist's journey to his hometown. It is also a journey of his memories of a tormented past. This film is a moving portrait, intimate and enlightening at the same time, told by LIU himself, his relatives and his colleagues. It shows us the life of a humble artist that became a milestone in the history of Taiwanese art.
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