Capturing China’s problems on film – Caroline Cooper

From Asia Times:

For all of China’s many apparent successes, a certain degree of discontent is bubbling at the edges. Government-released figures state 74,000 “mass incidents” took place in 2004, up from 53,000 in 2003…

Some of the most engaging responses to these conditions are coming from China’s artistic communities. China’s pioneer documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang has shot Chinese social problems since first picking up a camera in the late 1980s…

Now Wu has found a way to share his skills with a wider audience, many of whom are well familiar with the hardships his work depicts. In early November, Wu gathered 10 young documentary filmmakers and 10 villagers from provinces around the country to his studio on the outskirts of Beijing. The 20 new directors were culled from responses to national advertisements that ran in October in papers across the country. The focus of their documentary projects, as with so much recent unrest in China, will be the failure of local level governance.

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