Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema
Visionario, Via Asquini 33
Friday, April 28, time 6.00 PM

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CHINA NOW: NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE 1

What Happened in Past Dragon Year
Sun Xun
China 2014, 10'
Experimental Animation Short

Inspired by Rene Magritte and Aldous Huxley’s dystopias (plus Tesla, Kafka, and Trotsky), this ten-minute masterpiece by the renowned Chinese artist-an­imator Sun Xun’s deploys his usual ink-brush style images to vigorous, pow­erful effect. Entwined dragons, flying attack chickens, and a magnificent cat combine with glowering cadres and flag-waving patriotic youth (plus Clinton, Bush, and Obama) in a surging, densely allusive black, white, red, and blue rush of sound and image.

The Road
Zhang Zanbo
China/Denmark 2015, 95'
Documentary

Documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo’s specialty is getting extraordinary access to his subjects. With his documentary The Road, he has outdone himself. Shooting over three years, from 2010 to 2013, about the construction of one section of a national highway in rural Hunan province, China, Zhang manages intimate and revealing portraits of all the parties involved in pushing through a billion-dollar infrastructure project in China. He shows us migrant workers, working in tough conditions for no or little pay, rural residents whose homes, graves, and orchards standing in the way of the highway have to be demolished, construction company officials, who have to push through their portion of the project on time and on budget, and local and pro­vincial party and government officials, who struggle to supervise this complex set of actors, sometimes cooperative, often at odds.
It’s one thing to capture the struggles of the less powerful actors in this drama, and Zhang, like many Chinese indie documentary film directors, excels at taking us into the lives of people like Grandma Ou (whose house lies in the path of flying demolition debris). But it’s rare to get a sympathetic, nuanced glimpse into the other side as well. The ‘hero’ of the piece, if there is one, may be Mr Meng, a construction company VP in charge of solving problems. He seems to have allowed the filmmaker unrestricted access, and what results is an astonishing and sometimes terrifying portrait of Chinese society at work, from the inside. When he bullies workers who haven’t been paid, we aren’t so sympathetic. But when the provincial Road Bureau hires gangster to attack the con­struction company, we’re suddenly drawn into an extraordinary drama where morality becomes a complex set of grays, and building a road becomes a life-and-death struggle.
Shelly Kraicer
Film director: 
Sun Xun, Zhang Zanbo
Year: 
2014, 2015
Running time: 
10', 95'

Photogallery

  • The Road 00
  • The Road 01
  • The Road 02
  • The Road 03
  • The Road 04
  • The Road 05
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  • The Road 07
  • What Happened In Past Dragon Year 00
  • What Happened In Past Dragon Year 01
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