Posts Tagged ‘xinjiang’

The Unforgettable Fire: Karamay

Friday, April 16th, 2010

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Karamay (dir. Xu Xin)

Known as the “12/8/94 Incident,” a devastating fire broke out in the Karamay Friendship Theater in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, killing 323 people, 288 of whom were schoolchildren. Chinese director Xu Xin’s Karamay, which premiered at this year’s 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival, brings back these nearly erased memories of the past.

With little knowledge of the incident at the time it happened, Xu Xin expected the fire to be just another unwanted accident when he first started the project. However, in the making of the documentary, where he interviewed over 60 people related to the victims, Xu gained a much deeper understanding of the underlying tragedy. He tries to convey this agony, shooting in black-and-white with no music or voice-over throughout the film’s somber six-hour running time.

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Mr. Gay China Wins Prize in Worldwide Pageant

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Xiaodai Muyi (photo courtesy of Worldwide Mr. Gay)

Following up on the saga that unfolded last month over the Mr. Gay China pageant, it turns out that after the pageant had been shut down by the Beijing police, the organizers of the event went ahead and sent a delegate to the Worldwide Mr. Gay competition in Oslo, Norway. The delegate went on to finish third runner up in the competition, which concluded February 14.

In an added twist, the delegate, Xiaodai Muyi, is a 25 year old Chinese Muslim from Xinjiang province. Xinjiang has long experienced social turmoil between ethnic Han and Muslim Chinese, that exploded into deadly riots last summer.

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