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Critical acclaim for Red Revival documentary <i>China Concerto</i> by Bo Wang

Below is a selection of excerpts of reviews and interviews for China Concerto, a documentary essay by Bo Wang. The film made its North American premiere at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight in February, and will screen at the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, which takes place in Ithaca, NY April 1-7, 2013.

Find out more about China Concerto at Bo Wang’s website.

“It is absolutely fascinating to watch Concerto apply the techniques of deconstruction to official state propaganda… It also offers trenchant analysis of the capitalism promoted by the state, a mutation described as “collective capitalism,” in contrast to the western individualistic variety. The implications for the individual in Chinese society are obvious. That is one reason the correspondent always focuses on a single individual when watching sprawling propaganda pageants.”

LFM Reviews China Concerto @ MoMA’s 2013 Documentary Fortnight Joe Bendel, Feb 2013, Libertas Film Magazine

“One of my favorites in the [MoMA Doc Fortnight] series isChina Concerto,” a study of contemporary China. Based on the fictional letter of a traveler in China, and accompanied by a series of striking, often paradoxical images, the film compactly and sensitively offers a Debordian analysis of spectacle and shows the complexity of China’s transition into capitalism (as well as a great gunshot montage made from Chinese propaganda films that seems to be inspired by Christian Marclay).”

MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight Tynan Kogane, Feb 2013, Cinespect

“The remarkable collage and found footage editing, the insightful commentary on the absurdity of the power construction, and the allure of the spectacle, greatly facilitated by the female voiceover reading out a letter in undefined accented English, have earmarked Bo Wang as an exciting documentary filmmaker approaching sociopolitical subjects in contemporary China.”

Fragile Independence Kevin Lee, Oct 2012, Sight & Sound Magazine (print edition)

The Three-times-closed Beijing Independent Film Festival Cui Weiping, Sep 2012, the New York Times Chinese-language Site

“Back in the summer of 2010 when I first saw the spectacles created in the red campaign, I felt both intrigued and surprised, particularly when seeing resonances to the old doctrines and various gestures that I’d expect to belong to a long-gone past. The red campaign was a peculiar circumstance that discloses the persistence of the communist past underneath today’s capitalist surface. It seems that the past is always there. A big part of what Bo Xilai did in the campaign was simply to bring back to the table some issues that used to be fundamental for the socialist state. Those issues, for instance social equality, for quite a period of time have been intentionally ignored under the name of the state’s economic pursuit.”


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