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China / UK, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Horizons: New Chinese Cinema)

Director: Xiaolu Guo

"We are not just good at destroying the old world, but also at building the new one," announced Mao Tse-tung many years ago. But even he could not have foreseen the extent to which China is fulfilling his words at the beginning of the 21st century. Award-winning Chinese filmmaker and novelist Xiaolu Gou (Lucy Gou) leads a playful, intriguing tour through Beijing, symbol of the 'New China'. The official website of the capital warns tourists not to trust old city maps, because the city changes every day. Of course it does; of the 12 million people who live here, one million are construction workers, demolishing neighbourhoods almost overnight to make room for the bold new concrete China. With Agnes Varda-like dexterity and lightness, Xiaolu Guo interlaces passages on Chinese culture and history with ironic, intelligent commentary about the other side of the 'Chinese miracle' to create a visually rich and imaginative film essay on the character of contemporary China.
DP/S Xiaolu Guo WS Tele Image International L Chinese w/English subtitles TD video/col, B&W/2004/61mins Xiaolu Guo was born in southern China in 1973. Her films include [Far and Near] (2003, short), [The Concrete Revolution] (2004).

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