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Long River

USA, 1993 (MIFF 1994, Experimental)

Director: Reynold Weidenaar

A new work from upstate New York's Experimental TV Centre, it is one of a wave of recent American short films often besotted by a certain Pacific-rim 'new Orientalism'. Most of these pieces float in an idealistic construction of aesthetic harmonies of Asian social and spiritual customs. While still obviously pretty to look at, Long River is a little wiser and more droll in its images of the new 'Four modernizations' of Chinese policies. Its gentle digital effects soften up and make acceptable the not always pleasant images of the newly introduced capitalism. A film that has to be read carefully for what is below its pleasing surfaces.

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