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Understanding Chinese culture through film: A screening of Still Life
Mon 8 May 2017, 16:30 – 19:00 BST
The Cardiff Confucius Institute is delighted to welcome Dr Sabrina Qiong Yu, Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Film studies at Newcastle University, to introduce and facilitate discussion of the Chinese film Still Life.
Shot in the ancient village of Fengjie, Still Life explores the controversial impact of the Three Gorges hydro-electric dam construction project on the Yangtze River, which required engineers to flood vast areas of the surrounding towns and territories, including Fengjie. In exploring the impact of the geographical transformation of the area, director Jia Zhang interweaves two contemplative and compassionate stories of a man and a woman searching for their absent spouses.
In the first, Han Sanming, a miner from northern China, revisits the vicinity after a 16-year absence and attempts to find his wife and his adult daughter - trying to locate them at addresses that now exist underwater. In the second story, nurse Shen Hong also returns to the site of Fengjie and scours the area for her husband, who has been estranged from her for two years, and who, it seems, has become consumed by the work and lifestyle of an executive. As their stories unfold, the old structures of Fengjie are continually destroyed while new, makeshift structures are installed as replacements.
Inspiring contemplation on the nature of social change and progress, Still Life is the portrayal of "a vast nation preparing for turbo-capitalist superpower status, but retaining the autocratic political habits of communism: high-handedly ordering the displacement of a million-and-a-half people, and the abolition of thousands of years of history" (The Guardian, 'Still Life', 2008).
Still Life won the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at 2006 Venice Film Festival and made the director Jia Zhangke the youngest Golden Lion Award winner in the history.
This event is free and open to all. We hope to see you there!