February 11, 2014

Independent animation from China - "Piercing I" 《刺痛我》


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 7:00pm
Stern Auditorium, the University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 S. State St., Ann Arbor

PIERCING I 《刺痛我》
Dir. LIU Jian (刘健), 2010
China, 75 min.
Chinese with English subtitles; for mature audience only.

Q&A with filmmaker Liu Jian will take place immediately after the screening.


PIERCING I marks the first independently produced, feature-length animation film to come out of China. In the heart of a Chinese factory town filled with darkness and corruption, two young, unemployed men struggle to make better lives for themselves and are willing to risk everything. Through an absurd chain of events that brings together an unlikely cast of characters—the wealthiest businessman in town and his competitor, along with a corrupt, thuggish Police Bureau and two irreverent young anti-heroes—the film presents the social realities of urban China in a strikingly raw, sardonic vision. The film was hand-drawn, frame-by-frame, over a three-year period by filmmaker Liu Jian. With a deft style that reveals humor and poignancy in the context of everyday life in contemporary China, Liu Jian’s PIERCING I is lucid, compelling, and provocatively original.

Liu Jian studied Chinese landscape painting and graduated from the Nanjing University of the Arts in 1993. Over the past two decades, his work has drawn on a range of media and aesthetic approaches and has been presented at major exhibitions both in China and abroad. In 1995, he began making works of animation, and in 2007 he independently established the Le-joy Animation Studio. His first feature-length animation work, PIERCING I (2010), has received numerous prestigious awards at film festivals across Asia and Europe.

Posted by zzhu at 11:29 AM

November 29, 2013

Fall 2013 CCS Chinese Film Series - Moose (犴达罕)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Gu Tao (顾桃); Inner Mongolia, China, 2013; 100 minutes (Ewenki and Mandarin with English subtitles)

The moose (Andahan in the Ewenki language) is the biggest animal in the forest of the Daxingan mountains: powerful and respected. In recent years, due to environmental destruction and an increase of illegal hunting, a ban on hunting the Andahan has changed the way of life for many of the Ewenki people. The story of hunter Wei Jia and his search for meaning in his life.

Gu Tao (b.1970. Hulun bei’er, Inner Mongolia, China) began making documentary films in 2005, focusing on northern ethnic groups and there conditions of existence under this society.

Posted by zzhu at 01:08 AM

November 21, 2013

Fall 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - I Have What? Chinese Peasants War: The Rhetoric to Justice (拥有,新中国农民战争:修辞学的正义)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Ma Chenyu (毛晨雨); China, 2013; 103 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

A deconstruction of the survival logic of Chinese peasants over the past 60 years; a reconstruction of the subject of peasants.

Mao Chenyu (毛晨雨) is an organic rice farmer living in Hunan Province.

Posted by zzhu at 11:17 PM

November 15, 2013

Fall 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - My Mother's Rhapsody (萱堂闲话录)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Qiu Jiongjiong (邱炯炯); China, 2011; 106 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Film trailer:

Qiu Jiongjiong (邱炯炯)'s film “My Mother's Rhapsody (萱堂闲话录)” is a journey into memory and visual metaphors, the story of an eighty-year old mother and her adult son as they reminisce on the past.

Qiu Jiongjiong (邱炯炯)(b.1977. Leshan, Sichuan): Since attending the Beijing Institute of Oriental Culture and Art between 1994 and 1995, Qiu has been mainly active in the field of visual arts. His work has been the focus of several solo exhibitions, including Bu shang boli de guang (Light That Doesn’t Break Glass), Qimeng (Enlightenment), Zhiyuanzhe (Volunteer), Qie qingchun (Timid Youth) and Qiu Jiongjiong’s First Art Exhibition. Qiu took up documentary filmmaking in 2006.

Posted by zzhu at 12:24 AM

November 14, 2013

CCS Chinese Independent Film Event: "Stratum 1: The Visitors (地层1:来客)"


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The event is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Monday, November 18, 2013
Time: 6pm
Place: The Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor

6pm: Reception in the main lobby
7pm: Screening of "Stratum 1: The Visitors (地层1:来客)" (2012) in the main theater.

Please join us at the historic Michigan Theater for a CCS Chinese Independent Film Event. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:00pm to meet with Yi Sicheng (易思成), the coordinator of the Yunnan Multi-Culture Visual Festival (Yunfest), and independent film directors Cong Feng(丛峰) and Mao Chenyu(毛晨雨), followed by a 7:00pm screening of Cong Feng’s “Stratum 1: The Visitors (地层1:来客)” (2012) in the main theater.

Film description: One night, two men meet in an abandoned building and share memories of their past lives. They leave the building and roam in the night, wandering through a heavily textured landscape of ruins, and then find themselves returning back to the abandoned building, only to see that it has changed, collapsed, disappeared. With a visual approach that blends fictional and documentary elements, Cong Feng’s Stratum 1 is a rumination on ruins and the transformative roles of space and place in contemporary China.

Posted by zzhu at 11:51 PM

October 28, 2013

Fall 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Warm Winter (暖冬)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Zheng Kuo (郑阔); China, 2011; 103 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Film trailer:

From the end of 2009 to the beginning of 2010, some art districts in the periphery of 798 (a famous art district in Beijing) encountered strong violence as the artists were being evicted. The artists’ persistence, resistance, indecision and internal strife all came to play in that extremely cold winter.

Zheng Kuo is an independent film producer, screenwriter and director. In 2009 he received a degree from “Lixianting Film Funds Independent Workgroup.”

Posted by zzhu at 03:34 PM

March 21, 2013

Winter 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - The Transition Period (书记)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Zhou Hao (周浩); China, 2009; 114 minutes (Mandarin and Henan Dialect with English subtitles)

Film trailer:

Filmed with unprecedented access to a Communist Party leader, investigative filmmaker Zhou Hao offers a startlingly candid look inside Chinese politics at the local level.

As Chinese Communist Party secretary, Guo Yongchang was the most powerful man in his county, located in the rural inland province of Henan. Guo invited acclaimed documentary filmmaker Zhou Hao to record his final months in office. Through Zhou’s lens, we see Guo work tirelessly to achieve his greatest desire: for Henan to match the affluence of booming coastal areas. Zhou also captures the sordid details of local-level politics in pursuit of growth: lavish parties with foreign investors, threats to local workers protesting unpaid wages, and offers of bribes and kickbacks.

Hailed by international press as an exceptional work of investigative filmmaking, The Transition Period captures the daily life of a Chinese official with incredible ground-level detail. With boastfully candid interviews from Guo and fly-on-the-wall coverage of closed-door dealings, Zhou lays bare the unsavory dynamics within China’s top-down power structures. Penetrating in scope yet objective in its approach, The Transition Period reveals the conflicting forces shaping China’s path to prosperity.

“A rare, fascinating look at how the Chinese government operates.” Associated Press

Posted by zzhu at 07:00 PM

March 04, 2013

Winter 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - When China Met Africa


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Nick Francis and Marc Francis; Zambia, 2011; 75 minutes (Mandarin and Zambian languages and dialects, with English subtitles)

Film trailer:

"When China Met Africa" examines China's expanding footprint in Africa through the stories of three people in Zambia: a Chinese farmer, a Chinese multinational's road project manager and Zambia's trade minister.

A historic gathering of over 50 African heads of state in Beijing reverberates in Zambia where the lives of three characters unfold. Mr Liu is one of thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs who have settled across the continent in search of new opportunities. He has just bought his fourth farm and business is booming.

In northern Zambia, Mr Li, a project manager for a multinational Chinese company, is upgrading Zambia's longest road. Pressure to complete the road on time intensifies when funds from the Zambian government start running out.

Meanwhile Zambia's Trade Minister is en route to China to secure millions of dollars of investment.

Through the intimate portrayal of these characters, the expanding footprint of a rising global power is laid bare - pointing to a radically different future, not just for Africa, but also for the world.

“The story that is told in When China Met Africa...is one of the most fascinating and unique I've seen on this subject. In many ways, the film is minimalist in scope but ambitious in conveying the humanity in this complex and nuanced Asian-African courtship. That is precisely its strength...Indeed, the character's own voices effectively and effortlessly carry the film." - Damien Ma, The Atlantic

Posted by zzhu at 04:53 PM

February 19, 2013

Winter 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)
Please be advised that this film is rated R for some language (Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian).

A film by Alison Klayman; China, 2012; 91 minutes (Mandarin and English with English subtitles)

Film trailer:

Ai Weiwei is China's most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

"Watching ’Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ is like experiencing a thrilling unfinished symphony: The story is enthralling, but it's not over, and there's no telling where it's going, which makes what we see on screen all the more involving."- Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

Posted by zzhu at 04:46 PM

January 30, 2013

Winter 2013 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - The Revolutionary


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Producers/Directors: Irv Drasnin, Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers; USA 2011; 92 minutes (English)

Film trailer:

Sidney Rittenberg (李敦白) arrived in China as a GI Chinese language expert at the end of World War II. Discharged there, he joined the Chinese Communist Party, and was an active participant in the Chinese communist revolution and its aftermath. An intimate of the Party's leadership, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, he gained prominence at the Broadcast Administration, one of the most important agencies of government. But in the convulsions of a giant country constantly reinventing itself, he twice ran afoul of the leadership, and served a total of 16 years in solitary confinement. He returned to the United States in 1980.

Rittenberg captivates the audience with his exceptional intellect, uncompromising honesty, and engaging personality. Over a five-year period, award-winning former-CBS journalist and China specialist, Irv Drasnin, interviewed Rittenberg to produce a compelling, complex and unique understanding of the 20th century's biggest revolution. From Sid first meeting Mao in the caves of Yan’an, to his becoming famous and powerful during the Cultural Revolution, to his battling insanity in solitary, his journey and his profound insight illuminate a much greater history—a history few Chinese are aware of, let alone many Americans, told by an American who was there.

"In this absorbing documentary film, Sidney Rittenberg reflects on his remarkable life as an American member of the Chinese Communist Party. From the mid-1940s through the end of the Mao era, Rittenberg had remarkable access to the highest reaches of political power in Beijing. Ranging from his conversations with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai to his two long imprisonments under suspicion of espionage, Rittenberg provides a fascinating window onto China's continuing revolution under Mao." - Andrew Walder, Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

Posted by zzhu at 02:45 PM

November 13, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Film Series: A Director King Hu Film Retrospective - The Valiant Ones 忠烈图


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by King Hu (胡金銓); Hong Kong, 1975; 102 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

A rarely screened wuxia gem, “The Valiant Ones 忠烈图” is a meditative yet action-filled movie about a 16th century husband and wife swordfighting team hired to protect China from Japanese marauders. King Hu reveals character through the film’s intricate fight scenes. Film is courtesy of the King Hu Foundation and the Hong Kong Film Archive, Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Posted by zzhu at 05:15 PM

October 31, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Film Series: A Director King Hu Film Retrospective - Dragon Gate Inn 龙门客栈


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by King Hu (胡金銓); Hong Kong, 1967; 111 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

An awesome fight scene from the film:

Tsao, the emperor’s first eunuch, has successfully bested General Yu, his political opponent, but Yu’s children have been exiled out of China. Tsao plots to have the children killed at the desolate Dragon Gate Inn while they are being escorted to the western border, but forces loyal to Yu race against time to find Yu’s children and lead them to safety. Film is courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive.

Posted by zzhu at 11:45 AM

October 18, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Film Series: A Director King Hu Film Retrospective - Touch of Zen 侠女


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by King Hu (胡金銓); Taiwan, 1971; 187 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

An acclaimed fight scene from the film:

“Touch of Zen 侠女” won significant critical acclaim and became the first Chinese language action film ever to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, claiming the Technical Grand Prize award. A female fugitive being taken back to the city for execution, is befriended by Ku, a well-meaning but unambitious scholar and painter. Together, they plot against the corrupt eunuch Wei who seeks to eliminate all traces of her family after her father attempts to warn the Emperor of the eunuch’s corruption. Film is courtesy of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive.

Posted by zzhu at 05:40 PM

September 27, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Film Event: "Come Drink with Me 大醉俠" at the Michigan Theater, Monday, October 1, 2012


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Come Drink with Me 大醉俠

Come Drink with Me 大醉俠

CCS Film Event at the Michigan Theater
603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Monday, October 1, 2012
6:00pm: Reception in the main lobby
7:00pm: Screening in the main theater
8:30pm: Q&A with the film's star Ms. Cheng Peipei 鄭佩佩

Free and Open to the Public

Come Drink with Me 大醉俠
A wuxia film by director King Hu 胡金銓; Hong Kong, 1966; 91 minutes; Mandarin with English subtitles

The U-M Center for Chinese Studies presents a first ever director King Hu film retrospective, beginning with the screening of “Come Drink with Me 大醉俠” at the Michigan Theater. Set during the Ming Dynasty, the film stars Cheng Peipei and Yueh Hua as warriors, with Chan Hung-lit as the villain. It is widely considered one of the best Hong Kong films ever made.

Joining us that evening will be the film’s star, Ms. Cheng Peipei 鄭佩佩.

Trailer:

Posted by zzhu at 11:14 PM

April 12, 2012

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Timber Gang (木帮)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: RESCHEDULED for Saturday, April 21, 2012 (from April 7)
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Yu Guangyi (于广义); China 2006; 90 minutes (Northeastern Chinese dialect with English subtitles)

Further Information: Yu Guangyi’s stunning debut explores a grueling winter amongst loggers in Northeast China as they employ traditional practices through one last, fateful expedition. Armed with a digital camera and survival gear, Yu Guangyi spent months filming the lumberjacks of his hometown, offering a privileged peek into some exceedingly harsh lives (Neil Young, Jigsaw Lounge). A lasting testament to disappearing traditions, Timber Gang “is a fascinating glimpse at a rare way of life that few will ever witness.” (Ain’t It Cool News)

Posted by zzhu at 03:32 PM

March 02, 2012

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - People's Park (人民公园)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Libbie D. Cohn and J.P. Sniadecki; China, 2011; 80 minutes
Meet the filmmaker: J.P. Sniadecki will be on hand to introduce the film at 7:10pm, as well as Professor Abé Mark Nornes, Chair of U-M Screen Arts and Cultures. We hope you will be able to join us!

Raw footage (before post-production):

Posted by zzhu at 03:24 PM

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Karamay (克拉玛依)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Time: 1:00pm (please note special starting time)
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Xu Xin (徐辛); China, 2010; 356 minutes (6 hours); Mandarin with English subtitles
Intermission: Due to the 6-hour length of this film, there will be a 30 minute intermission beginning at 4:00pm. The film will then resume at 4:30pm and run continuously until 7:30pm.

Clips from the film:

Further Information: In 1991, the oil-rich city of Karamay in Northwest China was the site of a horrible fire that killed nearly 300 schoolchildren. The students were performing for state officials and were told to stand by while the officials left the building first. After the fire, the story was heavily censored in the Chinese state media. To this day, the families of Karamay have not been allowed to publicly mourn their children. In Karamay, filmmaker Xu Xin helps a community break the silence nearly two decades after their tragedy. The film is structured around a series of first-person accounts from families, teachers and survivors, interspersed with rare archival footage. Each narrative represents a complete and self-contained story in which the subjects recount their reaction to the carnage and how it colored their view of nation, society, education, law, party institutions and human nature. The result is a “landmark in journalistic diligence and a dedicated act of commemoration and healing” (Michael Fox, SF Weekly).

Posted by zzhu at 03:14 PM

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - 1428


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Du Haibin (杜海滨); China, 2009; 117 minutes (Mandarin and Sichuan Dialect with English subtitles)

Trailer:

Further Information: Du Haibin’s award-winning documentary of the earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province in 2008 explores how victims, citizens and the government respond to a national tragedy. The Great Sichuan Earthquake took place at 14:28 on May 12, 2008, causing 70,000 deaths and leaving 375,000 seriously injured. Days later, Du Haibin visited Sichuan to capture the devastation as well as the recovery effort . Survivors were reduced to salvaging destroyed pig farms in the mountains, selling scrap metal for pennies, and pillaging homes. Seven months later, as the national celebrated Chinese New Year, Du returned to see how life had changed in the stricken villages. Sidestepping the highly controlled media tours, Du found scenes not seen on official TV, exposing the gap between the Party’s promises and the disaster victims’ reality. “This is independent documentary at its most sophisticated” (Shelly Kraicer, Vancouver International Film Festival).

Posted by zzhu at 03:11 PM

February 23, 2012

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Wheat Harvest (麦收)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 3, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Xu Tong (徐童); China, 2010; 98 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

Further Information: A controversial documentary that sketches the double life of young Niu Hongmiao, who cares for her sick father in the countryside while working in Beijing as a prostitute. With a combination of cinéma vérité and interviews, Xu Tong creates a picture of the sex industry in Beijing and shows the loyalty and dignity of the men and women who work there. This film contains adult themes and situations which may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Posted by zzhu at 03:34 PM

February 15, 2012

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Martian Syndrome (火星综合症)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Xue Jianqiang (薛鉴羌); China, 2009; 83 minutes (Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles)

Watch trailer here. (Caution: Trailer contains adult themes and situations which may not be appropriate for all audiences.)

Further Information: A young man from Mars arrives in Beijing and learns to be a “bei piao,” a young immigrant who travels to Beijing seeking opportunities. But, he has a terrible experience, and becomes deeply confused as if sinking into quick sand. “In the genre of experimental/fictional/performance documentary . . . new director Xue Jianqiang’s bravura night poem Martian Syndrome (Huoxing yao zonghezheng) is as hallucinatory in its image aesthetic as it is infuriating in its documentary ethics” (film critic Shelly Kraicer/dGenerate Films). This film contains adult themes and situations which may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Posted by zzhu at 10:26 PM

February 02, 2012

Winter 2012 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Petition (上访)


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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
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 10:01 PM

November 16, 2011

Fall 2011 CCS Film Event - City of Sadness 悲情城市


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Event is free and open to the public. Please click on flier for additional information.

Posted by zzhu at 03:43 PM

March 31, 2011

Winter 2001 Chinese Documentary Film Series - The Epic of the Central Plains 中原紀事



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Ai Xiaoming (艾晓明); China, 2006; 146 minutes (Mandarin with Chinese or English subtitles)

Trailer:

Poverty in Henan Province has led many people to sell their blood to survive. Unfortunately, during blood transfusions, many innocent people have been infected with HIV. This documentary film by Ai Xiaoming reveals the lives of the AIDS patients and contrasts the situation between corrupt local officials and the villagers. “Central Plains” along with Ai Xiaomng’s film “Care and Love” (CCS Documentary Film Series 2008) is part of a series on AIDS and love in rural Henan province produced by this filmmaker. Ai Xiaoming is a professor at Sun Yat Sen University and the maker of numerous investigative documentaries.

Posted by zzhu at 03:08 PM

March 23, 2011

Winter 2001 Chinese Documentary Film Series - China: Empire of Art?



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Sheng Zhimin and Emma Tassy; 2010; 52 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

In the past twenty years, some of the most provocative, controversial and sought-after art has been made in China. This documentary provides an in-depth overview of the Chinese contemporary art scene, and traces the history of this unprecedented art explosion.

Posted by zzhu at 03:25 PM

March 08, 2011

Winter 2001 Chinese Documentary Film Series - I.M. Pei: Building China Modern



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Anne Makepeace, 2010; 53 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

I.M. Pei has been called the most important living modern architect, defining the landscapes of some of the world's greatest cities. A monumental figure in his field and a laureate of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, Pei is the senior statesman of modernism and last surviving link to such great early architects as Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. Entering into the twilight of his career and well into his eighties when the project began, Pei returns to his ancestral home of Suzhou, China to work on his most personal project to date. He is commissioned to build a modern museum in the city's oldest neighborhood which is populated by classical structures from the Ming and Qing dynasties. For the architect who placed the pyramid at the Louvre, the test to integrate the new with the old is familiar but still difficult. The enormous task is to help advance China architecturally without compromising its heritage. In the end, what began as his greatest challenge and a labor of sentiment, says Pei, ultimately becomes "my biography."

Posted by zzhu at 02:45 PM

February 17, 2011

Winter 2011 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Before the Flood II (淹没 II -- 龚滩)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Yan Yu (鄢雨); 2008; China; 60 minutes (Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with English subtitles)

Trailer:

Three years after Yan Yu’s documentary Before the Flood (CCS Film Series Winter 2006) generated global criticism towards the Three Gorges Dam Project, Yan Yu achieves intimate access again, this time to the Gongtan villagers as they protest official meetings and face off with construction workers eager to tear down their homes for a day’s pay. “Yan Yu’s long-term commitment to the subject matter shines through in his latest effort to chronicle the human cost of a project that has forced 1.4 million people to relocate.” (Ling Woo Liu, Time Magazine).

Posted by zzhu at 12:06 PM

December 15, 2010

Winter 2011 Chinese Documentary Film Series - The Train to My Home Town (开往家乡的列车)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2010
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Ai Xiaoming (艾晓明); China, 2008; 108 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

At the beginning of 2008, when Spring Festival was around the corner, the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, the major traffic line that links South, Central and North China, was suddenly interrupted by a major snow storm and many trains on this line were forced to stop indefinitely. Eager to get home before the Eve of Spring Festival, thousands upon thousands of inland migrant workers congregated at Guangzhou Railway Station and waited for the trains bound for their home towns.

As a scholar and independent filmmaker, Ai Xiaoming(艾晓明) is concerned with the needs of marginalized people. In order to record the scenes and stories that happened during the Spring Transportation, she went to Shenzhen, Shaoguan, Ruyuan, as well as villages in Jianli, Hubei Province and Yueyang, Hunan Province, to cover the stories of those travelers whose lives were interrupted and some forever changed by this event. The documentary presents the expectations of Guangdong's migrant workers, the families who were waiting for them, the ice-snow disaster relief efforts made by the government, and how the police and the migrant workers dealt with these hardships.

Posted by zzhu at 03:55 PM

December 09, 2010

Fall 2010 CCS Chinese Film Series - Family, Inc. (It's not Business, it's Personal)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Emily Ting and Helen Jen; Hong Kong; 2008; 47 minutes (English and Cantonese with English subtitles)

Trailer:

When filmmaker Emily Ting was asked by her father to return to Asia and take over the family business, she didn't exactly know how to say 'no.' Promising herself she would try it out for just one year, she traded in her friends, her filmmaking pursuits, and her love of New York for a grueling new life as a CEO in training in one of Hong Kong's most notorious toy companies. Two years later, she's still there - with no end in sight. In an attempt to come to terms with her new life, Emily turns the camera on herself and her family and the result is an incredibly honest and at times bittersweet family portrait that examines the price we pay when family and business become one.

Director Emily Ting founded Unbound Feet Productions in 2001 after graduating from the Film/TV program in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Named after her first short film, Unbound Feet Productions strives to create innovative works in both the documentary and narrative medium. Other films by Ms. Ting include What's Love Got to Do With It?, a lighthearted documentary taking a look at American born/bred Desis who are willingly going the arranged marriage route. Reality Check (2003) focuses on college graduates facing unemployment after graduation. Before moving to Hong Kong to help run the family toy business, she worked at Docurama, the documentary-exclusive DVD label based in New York.

Posted by zzhu at 02:49 PM

November 24, 2010

Fall 2010 CCS Chinese Film Series - 1966, My Time in the Red Guards (我的红卫兵时代)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Wu Wenguang (吴文光),1993; China, 140 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Cinema vérité director Wu Wenguang interviews five former Red Guards - two businessmen, a philosopher, an engineer, as well as "Fifth Generation" director Tian Zhuangzhuang (田壮壮) - who reminisce and reflect about their involvement in the Chinese Cultural Revolution during the 1960s. Theme music composed and performed by Cobra (眼镜蛇乐队), the first all-female Chinese rock band.

Director Wu Wenguang (born 1956 in Yunnan) is an independent documentary filmmaker. He is known internationally as one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. His first film, Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers, was unique in that it featured a large amount of handheld camera work and unscripted interviews. This was a stark contrast to Chinese documentaries produced previously, which were generally carefully planned and controlled. Other films by him include My Time in Red Guard (1993), Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999), Dance with Farm Workers (2001), Your Name is Outlander (2003), and Fuck Cinema (2005)

Posted by zzhu at 06:54 PM

October 14, 2010

Fall 2010 CCS Chinese Film Series - At Home in the World (四海为家)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Wu Wenguang (吴文光),1995; 80 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

A sequel to Wu Wenguang's film Bumming in Beijing (CCS Film Event - Fall 2007), At Home in the World follows five of the Beijing artists featured in the original film who are now scattered to the four corners of the world. An intimate depiction of their expectations, anxieties and the contradictions that frame their choices, and how these experiences have shaped their lives.

Director Wu Wenguang (born 1956 in Yunnan) is an independent documentary filmmaker. He is known internationally as one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. His first film, Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers, was unique in that it featured a large amount of handheld camera work and unscripted interviews. This was a stark contrast to Chinese documentaries produced previously, which were generally carefully planned and controlled. Other films by him include My Time in Red Guard (1993), Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999), Dance with Farm Workers (2001), Your Name is Outlander (2003), and Fuck Cinema (2005)

Posted by zzhu at 03:13 PM

September 30, 2010

Fall 2010 CCS Chinese Film Series - Getting Home (落叶归根)



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Zhang Yang; China, 2007; 101 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

In this soulful and humane comedy, Zhao, a middle-aged construction worker, struggles to fulfill a dying co-worker's last wish to be buried in China's Three Gorges region. Setting out with his colleague's body in tow, Zhao travels hundreds of miles across extraordinary countryside, encountering a number of colorful adventures and characters - and even discovering love in some unlikely quarters. Director Zhang Yang's humorous and moving tale o friendship offers a powerful and sometimes slapstick, commentary on the value of community and human connectivity in modern China.

Director Zhang Yang was born in Beijing, China in 1967. In 1992, he graduated from the Central Theater Academy. He then directed a theatrical production of Kiss of the Spider Woman and went on to direct over twenty underground music videos. His first feature film, Spicy Love Soup, swept the domestic Chinese awards and his second feature, Shower, won the FIPRESCI prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Getting Home is his fifth feature film.

Posted by zzhu at 04:17 PM

April 08, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Inside the Campus: Life at a Chinese University



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Camille Ponsin; China, 2008; 52 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Further Information

A frank account of what it is like to be a college student in contemporary China. French director Camille Ponsin was given the unique opportunity of filming on campus for one year at Nanjing Normal University, a large institution of over 40,000 students. Soon after a student settles in, a uniformed communist party member enters the dorm and instructs to the smallest detail just how one’s personal objects are to be placed, from how shoes are to be lined up, to where toothbrushes are stored. The first few months are given over to marching in formation, indoctrination into party history and learning to chant military slogans. But behind the closed doors of their dorms, these 20-year olds talk about boyfriends, cinema, politics and their future. We follow two students: Mao who is attracted to a Western lifestyle, and Kun, who is following the Party line in the hopes of a good career.

Camille Ponsin was born in Paris in 1973. While studying Arabic language and culture in Paris, he took a course for cameramen. In 2001 he began to work as assistant to the Director of Photography on the series of documentaries directed by Robert Altman, then as a cameraman on documentaries and TV series. He made his directing debut in 2003 with Ingenieurs, Sherpas et boîtes de conserve.

Posted by zzhu at 09:38 PM

March 18, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Two Million Minutes



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Chad Heeter; China, India and the United States; 2008; 54 minutes (English and Chinese with English subtitles)

Trailer:

Further Information

Two Million Minutes follows six engaging students from China (Shanghai), India (Bangalore), and the United States (Carmel, Indiana) as they work through their final year of secondary school and apply to college. Two million minutes is the approximate number of minutes in four years; the question posed by the film is: how do top students in the three countries spend their four years of secondary school? The film raises very interesting questions about the purposes and goals of education, and about the roles of the family, community, and society at large in raising children.

The Two Million Minutes storyline was conceived by Robert A. Compton and he also served as Executive Producer of the documentary. Compton has had a distinguished business career as a venture capitalist, as former President of a NYSE company, and as the entrepreneur founder of four companies. His trips to India in 2005 and 2006 inspired him to to create the documentary Two Million Minutes. Director and journalist Chad Heeter joined Compton on this film project in the spring of 2006, as he was completing his Master's degree in Journalism and Latin American Studies at U.C. Berkeley.

Posted by zzhu at 05:59 PM

March 11, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Morning Sun



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Carma Hinton, Geremie Barme, and Richard Gordon; 2003; 117 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Further Information

Morning Sun attempts, in the space of two hours, to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (c 1964-1976). It provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes – and reflected in the hearts and minds – of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s. An epic collage of the interviews and archival footage detailing the emotional topography of the time and the period’s enduring legacy.

Carma Hinton (born 1949) is a documentary filmmaker and Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, United States. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, by American parents, and lived there until she was twenty-one. Chinese is her first language and culture. Together with Richard Gordon, Hinton has directed thirteen documentary films about China, including Morning Sun, The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Small Happiness, First Moon, All Under Heaven, and Abode of Illusion. Her films have also received wide acclaim in both the popular press and in academic journals. Morning Sun-about China's Cultural Revolution—is "a stunning new documentary film" (Newsweek), "an astonishing mix of propaganda and news footage ... an illuminating look at China's dark time" (The Boston Globe), and "transfixing" (The New York Times).

Please go to http://www.morningsun.org/ for lots more on the film.

Posted by zzhu at 03:33 PM

February 17, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - At Home in the World



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 20, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Wu Wenguang (吴文光), 1995; 80 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

A sequel to Wu Wenguang’s film Bumming in Beijing (CCS Film Event – Fall 2007), At Home in the World follows five of the Beijing artists featured in the original film who are now scattered to the four corners of the world. An intimate depiction of their expectations, anxieties and the contradictions that frame their lives, and how these experiences have shaped their lives.

Wu Wenguang (born 1956 in Yunnan) is an independent documentary filmmaker. He is known internationally as one of the founding figures of Chinese independent documentary. His first film, Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers, was unique in that it featured a large amount of handheld camera work and unscripted interviews. This was a stark contrast to Chinese documentaries produced previously, which were generally carefully planned and controlled. Other films by him include My Time in Red Guard (1993), Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999), Dance with Farm Workers (2001), Your Name is Outlander (2003), and Fuck Cinema (2005)

Posted by zzhu at 04:05 PM

February 03, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - Daughters of Wisdom



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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Director Bari Pearlman; 2007; Tibet; 68 minutes (Tibetan and Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

Daughters of Wisdom is the story of rural Tibet, of the 85 percent of the Tibetan population who are subsistence farmers and nomadic herding families. The film provides an experiential and transporting view of contemporary Tibet seen through the eyes of some of its most extraordinary women, the nuns of Kala Rongo Monastery of Nangchen, Kham. Founded in 1990, the Kala Rongo Monastery is granting Tibetan women choices they’ve never had before, and changing outmoded attitudes that no longer serve the greater good of the community. Through the pragmatic vision of their benefactor, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, nearly 300 nuns are now receiving religious and educational training previously unavailable to them. They are being given a real opportunity to change the course of their lives, and to preserve the rich spiritual heritage of their people, even as they slowly reshape it.

Bari Pearlman is a Manhattan-based independent producer, director and writer, specializing in quality documentaries for theatrical and television markets.

Posted by zzhu at 11:13 PM

January 21, 2010

Winter 2010 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - 24 City

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, January 30, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Jia Zhangke; China, 2008; 107 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Trailer:

The conversion of a state-owned munitions factory into luxury high-rise apartments allows for an acute appreciation of socialism’s impact on the Chinese people, and the complex social changes sweeping the country in this masterful new documentary from Jia Zhangke. Founded in 1958 to produce aviation engines, Factory 420 saw years of prosperous activity. Now abandoned, the factory awaits its destiny. Sold for millions to real estate developers, it will be transformed into an emblem of market economy: a complex of apartment blocks called 24 City. Constructed around eight dramatic interviews, punctuated by snippets of pop songs, poetry and beautifully shot footage of the demolition, 24 City is a mesmerizing exploration of China’s past, present and future. Without nostalgia but with sensitivity and depth of feeling, Mr. Jia is documenting a country and several generations that are disappearing before the world’s eyes – Manohla Dargis, New York Times.

Following his 2009 profile of Jia Zhangke in the New Yorker, Evan Osnos talks about Jia’s sense of aesthetics and analyzes some recurring themes in his work.

Posted by zzhu at 05:33 PM

September 17, 2009

A Decent Factory: Nokia in China - December 12 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Thomas Balmès; China, 2005; 79 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

In an increasingly globalized economy, more corporations are outsourcing their production to countries with cheaper labor costs and less legal protection of workers’ rights. Some corporate managers, whether out of sincere moral concern or because they must respond to the considerations of investors and shareholders, are attempting to balance profit-making with social morality. A Decent Factory focuses on such an effort by Nokia, the Finnish electronics firm, which sends a team led by two business ethics advisors to examine conditions at a Chinese factory that supplies parts to Nokia. Filmmaker Thomas Balmès, having conducted three years of research on the subject, follows them on their investigative journey. “Funny, perceptive . . . a moral investigation into the profit motive.” BBC

Posted by kanepark at 06:02 PM

To Tell the Truth: The Liu Binyan Story - December 5 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Yung Chang; Canada, 2008; 93 minutes (English, Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with English subtitles)

Beginning in 1949, journalist Liu Binyan began a long career of writing and reporting about the injustices and the sufferings of ordinary people in China, with a fervent devotion to social ideals. Fearless and outspoken, Liu suffered many consequences, including being kicked out of the Communist Party twice, and sent to labor camps for more than 20 years. In the spring of 1988, he left for the United States to write and teach but was barred from ever returning to China. Often referred to as “the Conscience of China,” Liu was named one of Time Magazine’s Asian Heroes in 2003. Through interviews and archival footage, his film documents the story of Liu Binyan and his determination to speak the truth.

Posted by kanepark at 06:01 PM

Please Vote for Me - November 14 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 14, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Weijun Chen; 2007; 52 minutes (Mandarin and English with English subtitles)

Trailer:

An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School are asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control students and doling out punishment to those who disobey. Three candidates are chosen and required to perform in three events: a talent show, a debate and finally an appeal directly to their classmates asking for their votes. The campaign is harder than expected and takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been “successful.”

Posted by kanepark at 05:58 PM

Interesting Times: War of Love - October 17 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Jiang Yue and Duan Jinchuan, 2003; 45 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Beijing social worker Hu Yanping and her friend nurse Liu Xian spend all their evenings and weekends running an amateur dating agency. The agency flourishes in a social climate where China’s new career women discover that their new found wealth and independence is threatening to many men, making it harder to find husbands. In sharp contrast to her dating service, social worker Hu Yanping spends her working day as a lawyer dealing with women victims of marital breakdown and domestic violence.

Posted by kanepark at 05:56 PM

The Trash Trade: Selling Garbage to China - October 10 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Produced by NHK; 2006; China; 49 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Japanese waste is turning into gold in the hands of Chinese dealers who extract valuable metal and plastic from mountains of scrap. The rubbish is carefully disassembled in China, then made into new cars and clothes that are shipped back to Japan. But, there is a problem. Japan’s own recycling industry is running out of raw materials and not all Japanese trash is welcome. Recycling is regarded as the keystone of sustainability, but is recycling itself sustainable?

Posted by kanepark at 05:48 PM

Pollution in China - October 10 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: October 10, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Televisio de Catalunya; 2008; China; 30 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Since the economic reforms of the 1980s, runaway economic growth has turned China into a major creator of pollution. While the Chinese government tries to grapple with its growing environmental problems, rising discontent among the masses augurs political changes. A look at the cities of Chongqing and Linfen and the rise of environmental grassroots campaigns in these cities.

Posted by kanepark at 05:47 PM

Storm Under the Sun - October 3rd at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Trailer:

Storm Under the Sun was inspired by the memories of film director Peng Xiaolian. In 1955 when she was just two, her father, Peng Boshan, was arrested as part of a national campaign directed at the “counterrevolutionary Hu Feng clique.” Peng Boshan (1910-1968) was at the time head of the Ministry of Propaganda in Shanghai and since the 1930s had been a devoted revolutionary activist in the communist movement. His tragic “mistake” was to have befriended Hu Feng, a literary critic and theorist who promoted a vision of literature at odds with Maoist dogma. Imprisoned until 1957, Peng Boshan was exiled to various remote regions and tragically died during the early years of the Cultural Revolution. Her memories of a mostly absent father who could never be more than a stranger to her was the stimulus for the making of this moving and powerful documentary.

Posted by kanepark at 05:44 PM

April 13, 2009

W09 CCS Chinese Documentary Film Series - RESCHEDULED FILM

RESCHEDULED FILM: We regret the problem with our copy of SWING IN BEIJING on Saturday, April 11th that resulted in the film being canceled.

Therefore, we have ordered a new copy and the film has been rescheduled to be shown on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 7:00pm in Auditorium A Angell Hall. Hope you can make it!

Posted by zzhu at 09:04 PM

December 08, 2008

Up the Yangtze - February 14 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 14, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Yung Chang; Canada, 2008; 93 minutes (English, Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with English subtitles)

Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang returns to the gorgeous, now-disappearing landscape of his grandfather’s youth to trace the surreal life of a “farewell cruise? that traverses the gargantuan waterway. With narrative agility, a humanist gaze and wry wit, Chang’s approach beautifully captures the microcosmic society of the luxury liner: below deck, a bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher, sent to work by her peasant family who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck, a phalanx of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux. Singularly moving and cinematically breathtaking, Up the Yangtze gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large.

Posted by batesbe at 11:49 AM

China Upside Down - February 28 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Directed by Freddy Coppens; 2008; 52 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

In 1992, Deng Xiaoping’s infamous slogan “it is glorious to get rich? unleashed one of the biggest revolutions in the thousand year-old country of China. Deng threw the “classless society? and the “equal division of the means of production? to the wind. As the narrator says, “You can smell money everywhere.? This film profiles several families who rose from subsistence incomes to fabled luxury through the inventiveness and ambition of the extended family. The stories of these families provide an insight into the unique fusion of capitalism and communism that is becoming present day China.

Posted by batesbe at 11:48 AM

Love and Sex in China - March 7 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Produced and Directed by Annemarie Gallone, 2008; 51 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Click on the photo to view the trailer.

As China changes at an awesome rate, becoming more industrialized, urban and westernized, this film explores how this has impacted traditional relationships between men and women. Our guide is a young journalist, Yang Li Ne, whose parents have just divorced and whose own marriage is unraveling. She speaks about love and sex with young Beijingers, as well as older couples from the villages. Many of the young are afraid of commitment and are cynical about love and marriage. Money, not love, they say, is the basis for marriage. Prostitution is rampant; an estimated 6% of the national revenue comes from prostitution. Older couples reflect on the vanishing traditions that have given their marriages stability. A young gay man who was hesitant to be identified describes the homophobia in Chinese society and the secrecy with which gay and lesbians must lead their lives. He talks about the difference between making love and having sex. Examples of China’s traditional erotic art, which was nurtured by the imperial court, are laced throughout the film. (Please Note: This film would be rated R)

Posted by batesbe at 11:47 AM

Swing in Beijing - April 11 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, April 11, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Shui-Bo Wang; China, 2000; 74 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

A comprehensive survey of creative life in contemporary Beijing, Swing in Beijing captures a remarkable impression of the current state of fine and performing arts in this rapidly changing city. Academy Award nominee Shui-Bo Wang has incorporated interviews with artists, filmmakers, and musicians – including rock musician Gao Xing, painter Wei Dong, commercial artist Zhan Wang, filmmaker Jia Zhangke, and theater director Men Jeng Hui – along with clips of films, plays, music videos, paintings and other artwork in galleries and studios, and revealing footage of a city in transition. "A powerful impression of a varied, radical, and seemingly vibrant arts underground . . . a surprising, provocative, and stimulating look at this potentially influential subculture." – Professor Patrick Dowdey, Wesleyan University, Curator of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies.

Posted by batesbe at 11:46 AM

The Bird’s Nest: Herzog and de Meuron in China - March 21 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindheim; 2008; 88 minutes (Mandarin and English with English subtitles)

Many events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games took place in the brand new, 100,000-seat National Stadium. Plans for this massive structure began in 2003, when Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were selected by the Chinese government to design the new stadium, which because of its curved steel-net walls was soon dubbed by the locals as the “bird’s nest.? This documentary chronicles the five-year effort to build the stadium, as well as Herzog and de Meuron’s design for a new city district in Jinhua, involving hotels, office and residential buildings. Both projects involved complex and often difficult negotiations and communications between two cultures, two architectural traditions and two political systems. In addition to following the progress of both projects, from initial design and groundbreaking, Bird’s Nest features interviews with Herzon and de Meuron, Chinese architects Ai Wei Wei and Yu Qiu Rong, plus additional commentary by cultural advisor Dr. Uli Sigg, the former Swiss Ambassador to China

Posted by batesbe at 11:44 AM

The World - April 4 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Jia Zhangke; China, 2005, 139 minutes (Mandarin and Shanxi dialect with English subtitles)

In this acclaimed narrative feature, Chinese director Jia Zhangke (Platform, Unknown Pleasures) casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves, friendships and desperate dreams of the twenty-something-year-olds from China’s remote provinces who come to live and work at Beijing’s World Park.

Posted by batesbe at 11:42 AM

Manufactured Landscapes - April 18 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Jennifer Baichwal; Canada, 2007; 90 minutes (English and Chinese with English subtitles)

A striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet.

Posted by batesbe at 11:38 AM

August 28, 2008

Dance with Farm Workers - November 22 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 22
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Wu Wenguang and Su Ming; China, 2001; 57 minutes (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Verite documentarist Wu Wenguang records an unconventional dance performance project entitled "Dance with Farm Workers."

Initiated and organzied by choreographer Wen Hui (the director's wife), along with artists Song Dong and Yun Xiuzhen and staged in a former textile factory, ten actors and dancers are brought together with thirty farm workers who came from poor regions of Sichuan Province to work on construction sites in Beijing. Drawn to this dance project by the promise of 30 yuan a day for their efforts, the laborers later discover that even they have an opportunity to stand center stage and make a statement.

Posted by moyera at 01:57 PM

Shanghai Bride - November 15 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 15
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A

(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Melanie Ansley and Sam Voutas; 2006, 51 minutes (Mandarin, Shangalese, and English with English subtitles)

How does the average man find a wife in materialistic Shanghai? There are two single males to every single female and the women are increasingly picky and middle-class.

The effects of the one-child policy combined with a rapid revolution in China's values and lifestyles, have created increasingly selective middle-class Shanghai women. For working class men, finding a wife is a quest that requires money, time, and the strength to withstand countless disappointments.

Shanghai Bride is a rare portrait of ordinary people in an extraordinary social predicament, a window on the cut-throat nature of Shanghai's marriage market.

Posted by moyera at 01:33 PM

Last House Standing - November 8 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 8
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A

(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Chao Gan and Zi Liang; China, 2005; 54 minutes (English and Chinese with English subtitles)

As China continues its unprecedented economic growth, this documentary captures the poignant story of an elderly man caught between his country's past and future.

In Shanghai, yet another district is scheduled for demolition and redevelopment. The residents have all been relocated except for one. The owner of an old mansion, Mr. Jiang steadfastly refuses to leave. Mr. Jiang was born in this house and has watched the history of Shanghai unfold from its balcony.

Vividly depicting the relationship between an individual and a changing society, this is an intimate appreciation of the vast changes sweeping through China today.

Posted by moyera at 09:30 AM

No Sex, No Violence, No News: The Battle to Control China's Airwaves - November 1 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, November 1
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A

(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Sharon Connolly, Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore for Film Aulstralia; 2002; 55 minutes (English and Chinese with English subtitles)

This unique film examines the battle raging to control China's airwaves. Working with a government that allows nothing of social or political import to be broadcast, entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia bring their full complement of consumerism and mindless entertainment to the millions of Chinese greedy for a glimpse of the outside world.

Prof. Leonard Chu of Hong Kong Baptist University sees the arrival of television to the villages of China as a positive development, even with its limited programming. He applauds the new openness, providing a "window on the world."

On the other hand, we hear from the director of Shanghai Communications whose only interest is in selling. He sees television solely as a tool for promoting Chinese products in their developing market.

Gary Darcy, CEO of Murcoch's Star Network describes how BBC News was cancelled from the schedule because the Chinese government would never allow a newscast from abroad.

Dr. Geremie Barme, a widely respected observer of Chinese society says, "Chinese television is a negation of the social contract which provided free educations, pensions, and social services to the people and peasants. Instead the self sacrificing citizen of the past is being turned into a consumer."

Posted by moyera at 09:22 AM

August 27, 2008

Red Capitalism: China's Economic Revolution - Oct. 25 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 25
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A

(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1995; 57 minutes (English and Chinese with English subtitles)

An economic revolution is turning China into the world's largest economy. The birthplace of Chinese capitalism is Shenzhen which has exploded from a farming village to an industrial center of 3 million people.

This film shows how Western corporations are moving factories to Shenzhen to profit from cheap labor and join one of the world's largest consumer markets. Currently there are 58,000 joint venture corporation - from Proctor & Gamble to Volkswagen - for an annual economic growth of ten percent.

So desirable is it to work in Shenzhen that the city must be patrolled to keep out the teeming hopefuls. Scientists are working as clerks, and teachers on assembly lines because they earn more doing menial work here.

This Mecca of free enterprise has its seamy side as crime and prostitution abound. Yet, from Avon salesladies to manic millionaires, its inhabitants exhibit boundless enthusiasm for the future.

Posted by moyera at 04:54 PM

China Blue - October 11 at 7 pm

The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, October 11
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

Directed by Micha X. Peled; China, 2005; 88 minutes (in English and Chinese with English subtitles)

Like no other film before, China Blue is a powerful and poignant journey into the harsh world of sweatshop workers.

Shot clandestinely, this is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retailers don't want us to see: how the clothes we buy are actually made. Following a pair of denim jeans from birth to sale, China Blue links the power of the U.S. consumer market to the daily lives of a Chinese factory owner and two teenaged female factory workers.

Filmed both in the factory and in the workers' faraway village, this documentary provides a rare, human glimpse at China's rapid transformation into a free market society.

"China Blue is more than an exercise in cinematic activism...the film develops a natural dramatic structure that's profoundly affecting. Mr. Peled doesn't just record the girl's indiginities, he listens to their dreams...China Blue examines the polight of the world's largest pool of cheap labor and traces its exploitation to a retail outlet near you." THE NEW YORK TIMES

Posted by moyera at 04:44 PM

Care and Love - October 4 at 7 pm

During Fall Term 2008, the U-M Center for Chinese Studies will be presenting a series of contemporary documentary films on China.

The series is FREE and open to the public.
All are welcome to attend.

Date: Saturday, October 4
Time: 7 pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Ai Xiaoming; China, 2007; 108 minutes (in Mandarin with English subtitles)

Care and Love draws its inspiration from 'Investigation of AIDS in Xingtai, an article by Wang Keqin, senior journalist of China Economic Times.

The documentary tells the story of Liu Xianhong, a villager who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion during childbirth, and how she publicized her story, filed a lawsuit with her 8-year-old son against the hospital, and eventually received compensation.

The bitter experiences of several families, and the collective effort by people living with HIV to defend their rights, resulted in the 'Care Group' and the growing awareness of the possibility for grassroots efforts in the countryside to lead to real social change.

Film trailer:

Posted by moyera at 03:45 PM