Posts Tagged ‘Subject: Sociology’

Street Life (Nanjing Lu)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

ZHAO Dayong. China, 2006. Documentary, 98 min.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

STREET LIFE explores the hidden lives of homeless migrants who survive in the shadows of one of Shanghai’s most historic and affluent streets.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants are drawn to the allure of Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, with hopes of earning a decent living. Some end up in the dark alleys of Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s largest shopping street, where they learn to hustle and scrape together any kind of living they can. One migrant, known as Black Skin, faces numerous pressures in his daily existence, including police violence. Black Skin’s story intersects with those of fellow bottle collectors, enterprising thieves and even a young boy who was abandoned. Eventually Black Skin goes mad, dancing wildly through the crowds of Nanjing Road and in the doorways of luxury shops.

Director Zhao Dayong (GHOST TOWN, 2009 New York Film Festival) arrived in Shanghai in 2004 and began documenting the lives of itinerant Chinese using digital video. He saw their stories as overlooked portraits of the deep social impact caused by China’s rapid economic growth. Zhao uses bold, exaggerated compositions in order to emphasize the relationship between his vagrant subjects and the city streets they inhabit. The result is a raw, vivid portrait of physical and psychological rootlessness. STREET LIFE reflects the way of life for thousands of forgotten people in one of the world’s largest cities.

Director’s Bio:
Zhao Dayong

Reviews:

Select Film Festivals:

Jury Prize, Beijing Documentary Film Festival
City of Rome Prize, Rome Asiatica Film Mediale
Vienna Film Festival
Berlin Blobale Film Festival
Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival, China
Filming East Festival, UK

Film Clip:


FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Buy on Amazon
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

Fujian Blue (Jin Bi Hui Huang)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

WENG Shouming, China (2007). Narrative, 90 minutes.
Mandarin and Fujianese w/ English subtitles.

Two interweaving stories of youth crime and family crisis shed light on illegal emigration and human trafficking in China’s Fujian province, in this award-winning debut feature.

In the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, Amerika and Roppongi (whose names refer to their absent fathers’ whereabouts) front “The Neon Knights,” a young band of delinquents caught up in fast living. They fuel their riotous routine by videotaping and blackmailing rich women engaged in trysts while their emigrant husbands are sending checks from overseas. Amerika’s ruthlessness is put to the test when he catches his own mother in an affair. Meanwhile, fellow gang member Dragon, who turns to crime to pay his family’s debt from smuggling his brother to Ireland, goes into hiding after stabbing a man. After an unexpected windfall, Dragon ponders whether to follow his brother out of the country or to help his family.

Robin Weng’s debut brings alive the world of Fujian, notoriously known as China’s centre for illegal emigration and human trafficking. Shot vividly on film with street-level realism, Fujian becomes a blistering microcosm for an entire generation of young Chinese lost in the global era. FUJIAN BLUE is “an unflinching depiction of the effect of globalization. Weng achieves a naturalism in detail that borders on investigative documentary” (Michael Guillen, The Evening Class). With “marvelous energy… Weng’s work captures this situation with remarkable clarity” (Gautaman Bhaskaran, The Hollywood Reporter).

Director’s Bio:

Weng Shouming

Reviews:

The Evening Class
China Film Journal
What’s On Xiamen

Select Film Festivals:

  • Dragons and Tigers Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • Pusan International Film Festival
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the United States only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Order direct
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Not available
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Using (Long Ge)

Friday, August 7th, 2009

ZHOU Hao. China, 2008. Documentary, 105 minutes.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

Using An unusual relationship develops between an urban Chinese couple struggling with heroin and a filmmaker chronicling their addiction, in this provocative documentary on drug abuse, filmmaking and friendship.

For three years, filmmaker Zhou Hao chronicled the lives of Long and Jun, a couple struggling with heroin addiction in Guangzhou. Zhou captures Chinese junkie subculture, its members languishing in a slum flophouse, the equivalent of a modern day opium den. When Long is hospitalized after a failed robbery, Zhou speaks out from behind the camera to intervene. Still, Long and Jun persist, soon dealing drugs full-time to make ends meet. As the couple increasingly offers lies for answers, Zhou must confront his ethical responsibilities to them, as a friend and a documentarian.

USING probes a dark, cruel reality of contemporary Chinese society that has rarely been seen by any audience. Addicts disclose techniques for dealing with police, confronting sham suppliers and staying high throughout the day. Zhou’s unflinching depiction of his friends’ repeated attempts to quit blurs the line between filmmaker and subject, and raises provocative questions about the ways in which each uses the other.

Director’s Bio:
Zhou Hao

Select Film Festivals:

• 2007 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
• 2008 Hong Kong Film Festival
• 2008 The 5th China Independent Film Festival
• 2008 Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
Not Available
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD) Contact for pricing

Meishi Street (Mei Shi Jie)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

OU Ning. China, 2006. Feature, 85 min. Documentary.

Meishi Street MEISHI STREET shows ordinary citizens taking a stand against the planned destruction of their homes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In order to widen traffic routes for the Olympic Games, the Beijing Municipal Government orders the demolition of entire neighborhoods. Several evictees of Meishi Street, located next to Tiananmen Square, fight through endless red tape and the indifference of fellow citizens for the right to keep their homes. Given video cameras by the filmmakers, they shoot exclusive footage of the eviction process, adding vivid intimacy to their story.

Acclaimed at over two dozen museums and galleries around the world, MEISHI STREET, by renowned visual artist Ou Ning, works as both art and activism, calling worldwide attention to lives being demolished in the name of progress.

Director’s Bio:
Ou Ning

Select Film Festivals:

Museum of Modern Art Documentary Fortnight
Istanbul Biennial

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

Er Dong

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

YANG Jin, China (2008) Narrative, 151 minutes

Shanxi Dialect w/ English subtitles

Er Dong A rebellious teenager endures boarding school expulsion, family pressures and the harsh realities of rural life in northern China, until an uncovered secret from his past changes his life forever. Er Dong lives alone with his devout Christian mother in a small village. Frustrated with his bad behavior, his mother takes him to a Christian school with the hope that he will find God as well as a new direction in life. Instead, he finds a girlfriend, Chang’e, and their misconduct leads to their expulsion. Together they must face up to the harsh realities of work, parenthood and adult life in the tough economic reality of contemporary China. Recurring nightmares that plague Er Dong lead him to a shocking revelation of his own past.

Yang Jin’s second feature is a detail-rich, documentary-style portrait that builds with clear-eyed assurance through the life of a seemingly unheroic and unremarkable country boy. It’s not until the film looks backwards that one gains the full scope of Er Dong’s strangely epic journey. Quietly moving and full of authentic insight into the prospects for youth in rural China, ER DONG announces the arrival of a major new talent in filmmaker Yang Jin.

Director’s Bio:

Yang Jin

Select Film Festivals:

  • Rotterdam International Film Festival – Hubert Bals Recipient
  • Pusan International Film Festival – New Currents Award
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC BetaSP, DVD)
Contact

Enter the Clowns (Chou Jue Deng Chang)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

CUI Zi’en, China (2002) Narrative, 80 minutes

Mandarin w/ English subtitles

Eeter the Colwns “Liberating… ENTER THE CLOWNS conveys a sense of cinema at the vanguard.” – Scott Foundas, Variety

“Cui Zi’en inaugurates a new queer Chinese cinema.” – Tony Rayns, Time Out

Straight, gay and in-between Beijingers unleash a whirlwind of transsexual mayhem in this groundbreaking, gender-bending debut by China’s preeminent queer filmmaker.

Xiao Bo (Yu Bo) lives in a world where the lines defining men from women are constantly dissolving. He kneels at the deathbed of his father (Cui Zi’en) who has become a woman, and whose dying wish is to have oral sex with his/her son. His boyfriend “Nana” has also undergone a sex change, but Xiao Bo no longer finds her attractive as a woman. A sexual chain reaction ensues that wreaks havoc on traditional Chinese roles that govern male and female, parent and child.

Filmmaker, novelist and queer activist Cui Zi’en caused an international sensation with his shockingly transgressive debut. Inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but set within a specifically Chinese context, ENTER THE CLOWNS is “a movie that says everything you know about sexual identity and gender orientation is wrong” (Tony Rayns, Time Out). “Cui may be unique as China’s first gay filmmaker, but it is… in the international pantheon of queer filmmakers that we must ultimately locate him” (Chris Berry, positions: east asia cultures critique).

Director’s Bio
Cui Zi’en

Reviews:

Variety
Time Out

Select Film Festivals:

  • Jeonju International Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Mardi Gras Film Festival
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Super, Girls! (Chao Ji Nu Sheng)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

JIAN Yi. China, 2007. Documentary, 73 min.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

super_girls-thumb “As entertaining as it is revelatory” – Ronnie Scheib, Variety

SUPER, GIRLS! follows ten female teenagers on their quest to become instant superstars on China’s biggest television show.

The Chinese equivalent of “American Idol,” the “Super Girls Singing Contest” spawned an unprecedented pop culture phenomenon. Drawing over 400 million viewers, the show’s runaway popularity spurred the Chinese government to ban it after only two seasons.

The film provides unparalleled, intimate access into the contestants’ lives over several months. Through candid interviews and footage of nail-biting auditions and competitions, SUPER, GIRLS! offers a fascinating look inside what the Chinese media have dubbed “the Lost Generation” and their startling takes on sexuality and success in the new China.

Director’s Bio:
Jian Yi

Reviews:

Variety

Select Film Festivals:

Cambridge Film Festival
Minneapolis Film Festival

Film Clip:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Home DVD $29.95 Buy on Amazon
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

San Yuan Li (San Yuan Li)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

OU Ning, CAO Fei. China, 2003. Experimental Documentary, 45 min.

San Yuan Li Armed with video cameras, twelve artists present a highly stylized portrait of SAN YUAN LI, a traditional village besieged by China’s urban sprawl.

China’s rapid modernization literally traps the village of San Yuan Li within the surrounding skyscrapers of Guangzhou, a city of 12 million people. The villagers move to a different rhythm, thriving on subsistence farming and traditional crafts. They resourcefully reinvent their traditional lifestyle by tending rice paddies on empty city lots and raising chickens on makeshift rooftop coops.

Directed by acclaimed visual artists Ou Ning and Cao Fei and commissioned by the Venice Biennale, SAN YUAN LI explores the modern paradox of China’s economic growth and social marginalization.

Director Bios:
Ou Ning, Cao Fei

Select Film Festivals:

Venice Biennale
Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Film Clip:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

Raised From Dust (Ju Zi Chen Tu)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

GAN Xiao Er, China (2006) Narrative, 102 minutes

Henan dialect w/ English subtitles

Raised From Dust “A gentle, sympathetic look at the role of faith in a poor rural community” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

A heartbreaking story told with compassion, RAISED FROM DUST sheds light on the unexplored lives of the approximately 40 million Christians in China.

Xiao-Li (Hu Shuli) is a devoted housewife and an active member of her local Catholic church in the Henan farmlands of southern China. Her faith is put to the test as her husband (Zhang Xianmin) is hospitalized with respiratory illness due to unsafe working conditions, leaving his life clinging to an oxygen machine. Forced to work simple jobs to pay for her husband’s hospital care, Xiao-Li takes her young daughter (Lu Shengyue) out of school, unable to pay for tuition. She finds support only from fellow members of her congregation. But will her faith and devotion be enough to save her family?

Filmed with a beautiful eye for both vast rural landscapes and human intimacy, RAISED FROM DUST explores the lives of those rarely seen in modern-day China, and announces Gan Xiao’Er as a new major talent in world cinema.

Director’s Bio:

Gan Xiao Er

Reviews:

Variety
Asia Sentinel

Film Festivals:

  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • Pusan International Film Festival

Film Clip:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Order direct
Home DVD $24.95 Buy on Amazon
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China (Zhi Tong Zhi)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Cui Zi’en. China, 2008. Documentary, 60 minutes.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

Queer China China’s most prolific homosexual filmmaker presents a comprehensive historical account of the queer movement in modern China. QUEER CHINA, ‘COMRADE’ CHINA documents the changes and developments in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender culture that have taken place in China over the last 80 years. Unlike any before, this film explores the historical milestones and ongoing advocacy efforts of the Chinese LGBT community. The film examines how shifting attitudes in law, media and education have transformed queer culture from being an unspeakable taboo to an accepted social identity. The film culminates with the submission of Dr. Li Yinhe’s Same-sex Marriage Bill to the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress in 2003, a major landmark event in the ongoing struggle for acceptance of queer identity in China.

Directed by Cui Zi’en, China’s leading queer theorist, activist and scholar, the documentary includes rarely seen footage of the first ever appearance of gays and lesbians on State television, including Cui Zi’en himself. The film features exclusive interviews with over three dozen leading queer activists, scholars and filmmakers, including Shi Tou, Li Yinhe and Zhang Yuan. The opening night film of 2009′s ShanghaiPRIDE, China’s first ever LGBT pride festival, QUEER CHINA, ‘COMRADE’ CHINA is nothing less than the most authoritative account of queer cultural history in China to date.

Director’s Bio:
Cui Zi’en

Select Film Festivals:

• Official Selection, Pusan International Film Festival
• Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival
• Best Documentary, 24th Turino GLBT Film Festival
• Best Documentary, Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
• Opening Night Film, Shanghai PRIDE
• Official Selection, Beijing Queer Film Festival
• Official Selection, Pink Screens Film Festival, Brussels
• Official Selection, Calgary GlobalFest FilmFest
• Official Selection, Kosmorama Trondheim Film Festival
• Official Selection, CinemAsia Film Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (Digibeta, BetaSP, DVD)
Contact