“Alternative Realities:” China’s Digital Documentary Filmmakers
1428 (dir. Du Haibin)
In the newest issue of RealTime Arts Magazine, there is a rousing article by Dan Edwards on the significance of digital independent filmmaking in China. Here’s the opening passage:
While China’s political system remains deeply authoritarian, the country’s overwhelming size and explosive growth have opened cavernous gaps in the government’s control of culture, through which a new generation of DV-wielding documentary filmmakers has climbed.
Edwards profiles films such as Hu Jie’s In Search of Lin Zhao’s Soul, Ou Ning’s Meishi Street, and Du Haibin’s 1428 (editor: The latter two are distributed by dGenerate Films). He also interviews three notable figures in the contemporary digital filmmaking scene: producer/journalist David Bandurski (Ghost Town), artist/filmmaker Ou Ning and filmmaker/journalist Hu Jie. Here are some choice quotes from each:
Bandurski: “I’ve never heard an independent filmmaker in China ask themselves, âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Ã€ÃºCan I do this?… Independent filmmaking is the freest avenue of expression that exists in China today.”
Ou: “Before, history only had one version – by the Chinese Communist Party… Now with digital technology history has different versions.”
Hu: “I knew very little about the history of the 1950s and 60s… While making Lin Zhao I had the sense that I was feeling around in the dark. Then I found the door of history, opened it and walked through. There I found a lot of ridiculous, cruel stories that really shocked me, and that was the motivation to go further.”
Read the complete article at RealTime Arts.