In the framework of the 2nd China Festival in the EU, the classic Chinese Movie Nights are turning into Chinese Documentary Nights for 4 weeks in a row. The special documentary program of November is rich of high-quality documentaries, each one focusing on a different aspect of the Chinese culture : kung fu, porcelain, gastronomy, etc.
Every Monday and Wednesday evening until November 23rd will be dedicated to a screening of an English-subtitled documentary, for a deep discovery and understanding of the topic of the day ! Find here the complete program of the Chinese Documentary Nights.
As usual, the entrance is free but we ask you to register beforehand to the screening, by email to email@example.com or by phone to 02/704.40.20.
The Lacing of Life (2014)
English subtitles only
November 2nd, 2016
Duration: 89 min
Director: LIANG Junjian/LEI Jianjun
Cheng Xiaochun, a fortysomething southern man, has two different jobs. After high school in the end of 1980s, Cheng entered the largest chemical plant in southern China and worked in a three-shift urea production line. Meanwhile, he also learned the craft from his father, making sieve-like screens which are important molds for traditional Chinese Xuan papermaking with the highest quality. However, state-owned factories are confronted with reforms nationwide. With the social status of the working class degrading, and with financial conditions of living in town becoming too heavy to bear, Cheng had no choice but settling down in a village and inherit his father’s craft to maintain the network of paper workshops.
This documentary follows Cheng’s travel around south China, presenting the traditional Chinese craftsmanship’s special knowledge and the gap between working class and traditional craftsmen, who are trying their best to rebuild their ideal workd in a changing environment.
” Some people said it takes three years to make a piece of rice paper. Besides, it takes another three months only to make the sieve-like screen. So we spent 4 years in making this documentary, following Mr. Cheng accress the vast areas of Southern China : in Guizhou Province for pure lacquer, in Jiangxi Province for bamboo fibers, and so on. The documentary also shows the binary structure of the current situation : on the one hand, modern technology brought us some chemical solutions to shorten the process of making Xuan paper but then, the paper resulting from this modern process has a bad absorbency and a shorter lifetime ; but on the other hand, the craftsmen traditional skills are now defeated by the logic of profit and efficiency, leading the craftsmen to change their perspective on their work.”
The program is subject to change, follow our Facebook page to stay tuned!