Nostalgia (Xiang Chou)
SHU Haolun. China, 2006. Documentary, 70 minutes.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.
|Acclaimed filmmaker Shu Haolun explores the rich culture and history of his Shanghai neighborhood upon its impending destruction.
Dazhongli is one of Shanghai’s oldest neighborhoods. Shu Haolun’s family has lived there for three generations, enjoying a close-knit, communal way of life with their neighbors. Now Dazhongli and its surrounding neighborhoods are in the process of being demolished to make way for gleaming skyscrapers, towering apartment complexes and luxury shopping centers. In NOSTALGIA, Shu relays vivid details of growing up among narrow alleys and courtyards murmuring with neighborhood gossip, back when Shanghai was still closed to the world. While sharing a wealth of memories, Shu uses his camera to capture the everyday details of his home before they are wiped out forever.
NOSTALGIA is an ambitious cinematic essay that combines voice-over, interviews and re-enactments into a rich reflection of a city’s past and present. In paying tribute to cultural traditions before they fade into history, Shu’s work evokes a deeply moving feeling of nostalgia, “one that has universal appeal… grounded in humanist principles” (Thomas Podvin, That’s Shanghai). NOSTALGIA connects one man’s deeply intimate reflections with global societal issues, “the questions raised are being asked in cities around the world” (Reel China).
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