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King's College London, Lucas Theatre

King's College London, Lucas Theatre

Lucas Theatre S-2.18

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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We

DIR. Wen Hai

DOCUMENTARY

China, 2008

IN MANDARIN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

102 MINS

Three generations of Chinese intellectuals, cadres and activists discuss China's tortured post-1949 history and present possibilities in Wen Hai's remarkably incisive documentary We. "Creatures of politics," they call themselves, and we see how their remarkable histories animate their current beliefs. This is living politics in China at ultra-close range, populated by thirty-something bloggers, middle-aged writers and bankers, retired cadres, aged historians, and idealists and realists of all ages. Wen Hai's camera observes at very close range, and finds an unexpected intimacy with these thinkers and activists who are trying to imagine how their world can be changed.

Far from keeping the politics at an abstract distance, the film draws us into the affective spaces that animate these men: their initial idealism, and then their experiences growing up in a system that eventually forces them to confront the depressing gap between ideology and fact. As portraits of individuals living through, though not submitting themselves to, history, this film is moving; as a document of alternative modes of idealistic commitment, it is invaluable.

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King's College London, Lucas Theatre

King's College London, Lucas Theatre

Lucas Theatre S-2.18

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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