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This Week

• First of several lectures on

• Documentary films about China
• Both by foreign film makers
• And Chinese film makers
Filmmakers to be considered
this week
and on March 28th
Michelangelo Antonioni

Chung Kuo
Ruby Yang

Blood of Yingzhou District

Hu Jie 胡杰  

Lin Zhao
Other Chinese Film makers
• Tammy Cheung
• Zhou Hau
• http://www.shmag.cn/feature/zhou_hao

• Zhao Dayong 赵大勇   

• Chen Weijun 陈为军
• Wu Wenguang 吴文光
1st - A note about film making to
• Portuguese Director Manoel de Oliveira
• 100 years old in December 2008
• Offers some simple truths about film
• Film is a synthesis of all art forms – and
one must balance the 4 pillars of film
• Image, word, sound, and music
Note: from our last lecture

• In Hong Kong and China, Frederick

Wiseman has influenced film makers
• Tammy Cheung –Secondary School
• Zhou Hao, Senior Year (2005)
History of Documentaries in
• From 1949 – through the 1980’s
virtually all film making in China –
strictly controlled by the state
• Dominated by China Film Corporation
• Central Newsreel and Documentary
• Foreigners and Chinese alike affected
1972 to 1990 – Gradual
Opening Up
• 1972
• US President Nixon’s visit to China
• See: http://www.yidff.jp/docbox/26/box26-3-e.html
• Real change in the 90’s with new techn.
Michelangelo Antonioni
1912- 2007

“Blow Up”(1966)
“Zabrisky Point” (1970)
“The Passenger” (1975)

Chung Kuo (Cina)

Chung Kuo (Cina) 1972
Transcript “Chung Kuo”
• See: http://jmsc.hku.hk/blogs/docfilm08/antonioni-translation/

• See excerpt

• Also
Foreign Doc Films about China
• Early
• Felix Greene
• Later
• Carma Hinton http://ceci.mit.edu/projects/china-longbow-removed/china_longbow/

• Hinton, Barme, Gordon

Morning Sun, (2004) http://www.morningsun.org/film/index.html

• Gate of Heavenly Peace, (1998)

• http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gate/
Other Foreign Films about China
• From Mao to Mozart (1981)
Murray Lerner
• China in the Red (2003)
Sue Williams
• China from the Inside (2006)
Jonathan Lewis (4 hours)
• Tank Man (2006) Antony Thomas
Ruby Yang

The Blood of Yingzhou District

• 39 Minutes
• 2006
Chinese Doc Film Makers
• Some China Film resources
• http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/03/28/chinas_new_document
• French Critic Bérénice Reynaud 2003
• http://www.festivalshadows.info/UK/index.html
• http://www.cidfa.com/modules/index.php
China Independent Film Archive
China’s “New Documentary
David L. Bandurski

China’s “New Documentary

David L. Bandurski
Who Am I?
researcher for the HKU’s China
Media Project (http://cmp.hku.hk).
 free lance writer and investigative
reporter (recent work: “Pulling the
Strings of China’s Internet,” Dec.
2007, Far Eastern Economic
 aspiring independent
documentary filmmaker
Hu Jie ( 胡杰 )
“My films had no formal distribution
channels. They merely circulated
among my friends. I was happy
just to make documentaries on my
own. Documentaries were about
writing history with cinematic
scenes, about the marriage of art
and fact. In the past this power
belonged exclusively to the
national film studios. Now it was
different. I had my own camera.”
 “naturalistic” approach (director’s
voice often absent/no narration)
 few domestic channels for
 filmmakers come from diverse
 self-funded and dedicated
 focus on the underclass and the
untold (anti-hero)
 a strictly-controlled speech
tradition runs head on into new
 a reaction against propaganda
news and films
 art + film + journalism + field
research + activism
 The “Quixote Factor”
Zhao Dayong 赵大勇
Independent film maker; Street Life;
Ghost town, Africans in Guangzhou
Ghost Town (2008)
• A film about Lisu and Nu minorities
living in an “abandoned” local
Communist Party town.
• The film looks at local customs and
beliefs as well as broader social issues
in the background (migration, sale of
• Entirely self-funded
• Submitted by invitation to Cannes Film
• Q and A
• David Bandurski
Next Lecture
• On March 28th
• We will start by showing Ruby Yang film
Blood of Yingzhou District and excerpts of an
interview with the film maker
• We will also show an excerpt from Hu Jie’s
film: “Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul”
• And with time remaining we will discuss other
Chinese film makers
• Read: