This Film was part of a previous programme. The 2016 festival programme will be announced on the 4 May 2016.
Once Upon A Time Proletarian
Director(s): Xiaolu Guo
Producer(s): Xiaolu Guo, Pamela Casey
Country: China, United Kingdom, Germany
Duration: 76 min
Format: Video Digital Betacam PAL
Premiere status: None
While filming her drama ‘She, a Chinese’, director Xiaolu Guo found herself captivated by the peasants and onlookers who had gathered to watch the proceedings, and turned her camera to them. “I needed to film the dusty faces of the street, the curious and amazed faces of the peasants…rather than to be cleared out from the camera field.” She went on to film their stories, relayed here in twelve chapters, which stitch together a patchwork quilt of post-Maoist China, from the peasant working the field, looking back fondly on Mao’s days, to the jaded former soldier turned arms smuggler, to the teenage car washer struggling to adapt to city life. A theme running through these arresting, visually poetic vignettes is the often unappealing material desires driving these lives, reflecting the struggles behind China’s shift from a communal society to the capitalist powerhouse it is becoming today.
“A fresh literary touch – each chapter features a separate universe, where images appear to seamlessly match what is said and where words seem depicted more than pronounced.” - Toronto International Film Festival
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