UK, 1988 (MIFF 1988, Documentary)
Director: Tony Rayns
Written and directed by the festival's longstanding Asian Cinema consultant, Tony Rayns, this is a comprehensive overview of the truly cultural revolution which is taking place in the Chinese cinema of the Eighties as new generations of film school graduates, immune to the strictures of traditional propagandist cinema which served the class struggle, are permitted a freedom of personal expression previously unheard of.
China's largest studios, based in Beijing and Shanghai, remain as the hub of the country's cultural bureaucracy. The newer filmmakers prefer to work in smaller, regional studios which are more willing to give opportunities to untried talents and have given birth to a fresher style of regional filmmaking which create both traditional entertainment for general audiences and artistic, innovative projects which depict human relationships Well chosen clips from recent productions arc integrated with interviews featuring Chen Kaige, Xi'an studio-head Wu Tianming, Tian Zhuangzhuang et al. An excellent introduction to the three Chinese features showing at this years festival. - P.H.