documentary

China Underground >

South of Clouds, a documentary on Chinese Ethnic Minorities in Yunnan Province

South of Clouds (A Sud Delle Nuvole) is a documentary on the ethnic minorities of Yunnan, filmed and edited in 2002 by Dominique Musorrafiti and Matteo Damiani.

Related articles: Yunnan guide, Dali guide, Nujiang guide, Lijiang guide, Honghe guide

The documentary is available in a newly remastered version.

The documentary shows, without commenting, a China-linked to ancient traditions, which nowadays struggles to compete with the rhythm of modern life: villages, customs, music, and lifestyles of the minorities Bai, Lisu, Nusu, Miao, Dai, Hani, Naxi, Yi, and Hui, before the advent of Chinese mass tourism and the exodus of young people to the metropolis in search of a job opportunity.

The rhythms of life of minorities were still strongly linked to the cycles of nature.

The documentary was shot in the counties of Nujiang (Gongshan, Bingzhongluo), Lijiang, Dali, and Honghe (Yangshuo and surrounding area).

Production: CinaOggi | China-underground
A documentary by Dominique Musorrafiti, Matteo Damiani
Soundtrack: Felix l’Amour, Makoto Kawabata, Acid Mothers Temple.
Year: 2002, remastered 2019

Topic: Yunnan documentary, documentary about Yunnan ethnic minorities

China Underground >

Guo Ke, director of “Twenty Two”, Exclusive Interview

Guo Ke Interview: Twenty Two is a Chinese documentary about 22 Chinese ‘comfort women’, victims of sexual enslavement by Japanese soldiers during the WWII The … Read more

China Underground >

‘Twenty Two’ tells life stories of survivors of sexual slavery

A Chinese-language documentary (and mainland China box-office sensation) completed with over 32,000 contributions from crowdfunding, “Twenty Two” was shot a few years ago. by James Verniere … Read more

China Underground >

People of Western China, 1940

1940 Documentary about Chengdu People (Sichuan).

An instructional movie produced by Erpi Classroom Films Inc.
In collaboration with O.J.CALDWELL Formerly of University of Nanking

Life and work of the people who live in Chengtu, located in a valley in western China.

Contents. The life and work of the people who live in a valley in western China.

Chengtu lies cradled between lofty chains of mountains. There are views of its ancient wall, its temples and tombs, and its streets.

Outside the city, the farmers cultivate their land as they have for centuries. An ancient irrigation system planned by Li Ping 2,000 years ago is still in use. The grain is made into flour in an old mill using water for power. Rice is hulled with apparatus ancient in design. The products of the farm are offered for sale in the markets of the city.

Following views of bamboo growing in a clump, the many uses of this product are indicated — the making of furniture, household utensils, rope, sedan chairs, bridges, etc.

Some of the ancient crafts of China are pictured. As a potter is shown at work, the commentator says that the potter’s wheels revolved during the classic dynasties of Tang and Sung and Ming. A silversmith works at his ancient trade. As silk weavers are shown, the commentator says that a legend claims that the Chinese have been weaving silk for over 4,000 years. Rich silk fabrics are displayed in the shops of the city. There are views of the mulberry trees on which the silkworms feed.

Modern science is changing the ancient ways of life. Modern electric power has brought with it the telephone, the electric light, and the motion picture projector. The Chinese farmer working in his fields sees modern automobiles and airplanes. Modern medical science replaces the herb doctor.

Appraisal. Good for (1) showing an ancient city located in western China, (2) indicating the agricultural practices of farmers in western China, and (3) showing the ancient handicrafts of that country. Should be useful in developing an appreciation of the antiquity of Chinese civilization and in indicating the influence of modern inventions on the Chinese way of life.

A sequence showing the many uses for bamboo suggests the ingenuity of the people in adopting an abundant native product to their needs. Although the film does not specifically mention the effect of the Japanese invasion, it can very well be used as background material for a study of that action.

Photography and sound are excellent.

Related articles: Red Chinese Battle Plan

Source

Topics: China,documentary,documentary on old China,old China,chengdu,sichuan,old documentary,history of China

China Underground >

Red Chinese Battle Plan

Red Chinese Battle Plan is a Cold War-era American Propagandistic documentary against China produced by the United States Department of Defense in 1967.

Presented as a documentary on Chinese history, the film mixed Cold War-era anti-communist rhetoric with earlier Western Yellow Peril rhetoric into one, portraying China as seeking to gain control of Africa and Latin America before moving on to capture the United States.

related article: People of Western China, 1940

China Underground >

Michelangelo Antonioni documentary on China: Chung Kuo – 1972

The documentary focuses primarily on the lives of contemporary working class Chinese people.

A documentary on China, concentrating mainly on the faces of the people, filmed in the areas they were allowed to visit. The 220-minute version consists of three parts. The first part, taken around Beijing, includes a cotton factory, older sections of the city, and a clinic where a Cesarean operation is performed, using acupuncture. The middle part visits the Red Flag canal and a collective farm in Henan, as well as the old city of Suzhou. The final part shows the port and industries of Shanghai and ends with a stage presentation by Chinese acrobats. [Will Gilbert]

According to cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, this documentary was shot mostly handheld with an ‘Eclair NPR’ 16mm camera using available light. In 1972, during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Michelangelo Antonioni was invited by the People’s Republic of China to direct a documentary about New China. The result was a three-and-a-half-hour long film, divided into three parts. Mao disliked it so much that Michelangelo Antonioni was consequently charged with being anti-Chinese as well as counterrevolutionary. The movie was finally shown at Beijing’s Cinema Institute 30 years later.”

Recensione di Chung Kuo di Michelangelo Antonioni

China Underground >

Overloaded Peking, 2001 documentary about New China

Overloaded Peking is a documentary about Beijing and the Chinese modernisation we did in 2001 (MDDM, abelvideo).

It features a long and interesting interview (15:32) with a young Jia Zhangke about cinema, changes of the young Chinese generations, modernization of the country, the internet, censorship, and much more.

In 2001, Jia Zhangke movies (along with many other Chinese director’s works) were forbidden in China. Eventually, Jia Zhangke emerged as one of the most famous new Chinese directors. In the documentary appears also Zhao Tao (during Jia Zhangke’s interview) and Dj Gaohu. Please view the documentary at 480p, otherwise, the subtitles will be unreadable.