February 02, 2012
Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Petition (上访)
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)
A film by Zhao Liang (赵亮); China, 2009; 124 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)
Zhao Liang talks to the New York Times about his films, including Petition.
Further Information: The Chinese court system allows citizens with grievances against their local governments to petition the court to clear or correct their record. Yet in order to do so, the petitioners must travel to Beijing to file paperwork and wait an indefinite period to plead their case. The vast majority of petitioners are impoverished villagers who travel far to the capital and typically end up waiting desperately in decrepit shantytowns for their cases to be settled, often pressured by hired thugs to return home. Following the saga of a group of petitioners over the years of 1996 and 2008, Petition unfolds like a novel by Zola or Dickens. Unwilling to accept defeat and seemingly unable to do anything but wait, the petitioners enter a strange and often terrifying zone, gradually losing touch with family and friends back home and with the cruel reality of their situation (Harvard Film Archive).
Posted by zzhu at February 2, 2012 10:01 PM