DV Comes To Rural China – ESWN

From the EastSouthWestNorth blog (link):

“In the past, when I had free time, I did this.” 55-year-old Jia Zitan stretched out his arms in front of him and shuffled the imaginary mahjong tiles. “How am I going to find the time for that now?” In September last year, “The Chinese Villager Self-Rule Visual Communication Program” went through this newspaper to look for authors. Jia Zitan applied and was selected as one of ten villager DV authors. In November, he came to Beijing to receive three days of quick training in “documentary film-making.” He received one DV (Digital Video) camera, a tripod and ten reels of magnetic tape.

At Yichang village, Beiyuan town, Shimen county, Hunan province, Old Jia was a character already. Seven or eight years ago, he converted his own farm lot into a tangerine orchard. By the time the other villagers began to imitate him, he had made a big profit. By the time that the fruit trees of the others were beginning to yield harvest, Old Jia was buying the products from the local tangerine growers and shipping them to Beijing. In many things, he is one step ahead of the others.

With a DV camera hanging around his neck, Old Jia talks taller and firmer around the village, proud as a penguin. He stepped out of his home and he saw that there were nothing but mahjong tables on the street. “Second uncle, how about a few rounds?” The villagers enthusiastically invited him to join. Old Jia kept his right hand behind his back, and then extended his left hand out horizontally to indicate “No” in a contemptuous fashion.

See also Xinhua’s “From farmer to film producer” (link)

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