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Italy, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni's China is a long way from the England of Blow-up or his American travelogue, Zabriskie Point. After spending six weeks filming in China, he said 'I felt a need to return to my own origins as a film-maker, to come closer to reality in a direct way." The picture was made on super 8 mm film for television, and has already been shown on networks in Italy. Britain and America.

Chung Kwo (the Chinese name for their country) examines city and rural life in modern China. Antonioni is immediately struck by large cultural differences, and the opening commentary tells us that in China there is no sense of anxiety or haste. Peasants show off their work, from planting seeds to selling greens in the market. They are shown sitting round a table discussing Mao's philosophy. although we are not (old in the commentary what they are saying.

There is no political message pushed in the film, and Antonioni doesn't try to look at recent Chinese history, for example, the Cultural revolution.

See also...


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