China Close Up (U)

Documentary making is becoming ever more popular in today’s China, as amateur and professional filmmakers use the visual medium as their voices, eyes and a means by which to experiment with the creative arts. This documentary screening event includes screenings of Brave Father (Dir Li Junhu, 2007) and Changing Mask: A Letter to Antonioni (Dir Pan Jun, 2004), and will provide a rare opportunity to see Chinese people’s intimate depictions of their country’s rapid changes.

The screening will be followed by discussion from Dr. Jeesoon Hong, Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester, Dr. Johannes Sjoberg, Lecturer in Screen Studies and Drama at the University of Manchester and Keith B. Wagner, Lecturer at London South Bank University.

Supported by the Centre for Chinese Studies and the Confucius Institute, both at the University of Manchester

Brave Father (U)

Dir Li Junhu/CN 2007/48 mins/Mandarin wEng ST
Han Peiyin’s son Shengli is accepted into a local university, but to pay for his living expenses and tuition, Han must sell the family’s valuables. This unfaltering account follows Han and his family as they endure great hardship whilst desperately sticking to the belief that Shengli’s education will lead to a better life for the family.

Changing Mask: A Letter to Antonioni (U)

Dir Pan Jun/CN 2004/58 mins/Mandarin wEng ST
This film re-visits the original places and people featured in Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed documentary, China (1972). First commissioned and subsequently banned by the Chinese government, Antonioni’s film was one of the few western documentaries about China’s Cultural Revolution. Echoing the themes portrayed in Antonioni’s original film, Changing Mask: A Letter to Antonioni portrays the opinions of Chinese people as they discuss changes they have experienced during the last 40 years.