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Jian Yi to Show New Documentary at Yale

dGenerate director Jian Yi (Super, Girls!) is to screen his new work New Socialist Climax (Hong Se Zhi Lü) at the Auditorium of Henry R. Luce Hall, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut on Thursday, September 17 at 8pm. This special screening is in coordination with the international conference on “Culture, Conflict & Mediation” sponsored by Yale, Cambridge and Qinghua Universities (September 17-19, 2009). A Q&A session with the director will follow.

New Socialist Climax aims at capturing and examining various levels of reality in China’s recent state-sponsored Red Tourism, a national campaign which brings people, especially government employees and young people, to the old Communist revolutionary bases. This documentary does not simply document the ‘content’ of life in China today, but also tries to ‘restore’ the different layers of reality and leave the judgment to the viewers.

On the surface, Red Tourism is a win-win for all parties involved: the Party gets to boost its ideological propaganda in support of its fading legitimacy, the tourists get to splurge on a free trip and to exhibit political loyalty to the establishment, and the locals get to cash in nicely with floods of Red Tourists coming and spending (often extravagantly if the government is covering their expenses).

The documentary was shot at Mt. Jinggangshan, the cradle of the Chinese Communist revolution led by Mao Zedong, and is the first independently-made film (i.e., not within the state-controlled media establishment) on Red Tourism. Production was completed between June 1, 2007 and October 2007. The year 2007 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Mt. Jianggangshan Revolutionary Base.

The documentary is made up of four chapters, based on footage shot around the four key dates of the year for Red Tourism: June 1 (International Children’s Day), July 1 (Chinese Communist Party Day), August 1 (People’s Army Day) and October 1 (National Day for the People’s Republic of China).

Jian Yi is an independent filmmaker, visual artist and writer currently running an IFCHINA Participatory Documentary Center (blog) in Ji’an City, Jiangxi, China. He is the producer and director of the award-winning narrative film Bamboo Shoots and of the documentary Super, Girls!. Jian has worked as a filmmaker and senior art consultant for a number of European Union projects in China. In 2005-06, he partnered with premier documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang to launch the China Villager Documentary Project. Jian’s photos on China’s village governance toured the nation’s seven provinces as well as the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels and the European Parliament in Strasburg. He is a Yale World Fellow (’09), Starr Foundation Fellowship grantee (’07-‘08) under the New York-based Asian Cultural Council, a Fellow (’08-’10) of the India-China Fellowship at the New School, NY, USA, and a Visiting Fellow (‘07) at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. Jian is one of the three Chinese national finalists selected by the British Council for its 2007 International Young Film Entrepreneur of the Year award.

New Socialist Climax (China, 2009. 80 mins.) “Take Communist Viagra, Make Capitalist Love, and Get a New Socialist Climax!”

Film Screening followed by Q&A Session with Director Thursday, Sept. 17, 8pm Auditorium, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue


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