加载中…
正文 字体大小:

今日北京:《换城》导演李军虎专访

(2013-02-21 16:50:44)
标签:

换城

分类: 媒体报道
January 25, 2013
By Chen Nan 

More than 200 million people have moved to the cities in the last few decades. Their hard working has helped transform China into the second largest economy in the world, but what's the human cost for building a future?

The experience of migrant workers and relationship between the urban and rural spheres is perfectly captured in Li Junhu’s documentary Where Should I Go?

The ambitious project also takes a contemplative look at migration, the education of “left behind children,” the pressures of living, emotional malaise and uneven opportunities.

Many scenes are set in shabby rooms that suggest the economic struggle of these workers.

In 2008, CNEX, a non-profit organization devoted to supporting documentary filmmakers, offered Li to help  begin this film. The theme that year was “Next Generation’s Homeland.”

Finished in 2010, it screened last year at the 2012 Chinese Visual Festival in London.

In Shaanxi Province, Li turned his lens on migrant workers from poor rural villages. Much of the film is devoted to these characters as they go their respective ways and struggle for higher status.

Most find city life considerably less rosy than they imagined. Sometimes, they appear helpless in the face of economic progress.

There are two characters and a pair of parallel narratives. In one, Zhang Zhili takes her son with her to work in the city, leaving two daughters behind.

Knowing the importance of education, Zhang’s decision to take the boy hinges on her knowledge of how important it is to ensure he gets a good education.

The film also follows Yang Xiuqing, who has brought her only son and daughter from the countryside to the city. Aiming to stay, she uses her late husband’s pension to buy city resident permits, or hukou, for her two children.
Things prove more difficult than either family imagines.

School fees keep Zhang’s child outside the school gates, leaving her with no option but to teach her son how to read while she works at the flea market every day.

Zhang’s two daughters leave their countryside homestead and find it difficult to make ends meet and take care of themselves.

The oldest daughter considers stopping her studies; she frequently skips school and cuts classes.

Meanwhile, Yang lets her oldest daughter leave school to work in a bar, like herself, to earn money to support her son’s studies. The family has struggled ever since Yang’s husband died in a car accident.

Her biggest concern is that her son’s school fees will become increasingly expensive. Yang has to hand over more than a few thousand yuan to send him to a good high school. Even higher college fees loom.

The gap between expectation and reality leave the families in dire poverty.
They are caught between a rock and a hard place: choosing to return to the countryside to start over or taking one last stand against fate and staying in the city.

More observer than director, Li is concerned with how it feels to be in a particular environment. His films are predicated on a sense of everyday social flux, providing some sense of China’s seething interior.
His thoughts actually came from his early experiences.

Li grew up in a military compound in Xinjiang, where he was born. His childhood environment was relatively secluded.

The first time he went to the big city, he felt bewildered and lost.

“Actually I totally understand migrant workers; their isolation and alienation in urban areas resonates with mine,” he said.

After entering college, he focused on rural issues. Specifically, he felt that he needed to portray convincing stories of real people, such as of construction workers, security guards, baby-sitters, waiters, and cleaners.
After graduating from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 2003, he tried to make feature films.

Before finding his current position in the International Division of Shaanxi TV Station, he taught art at rural elementary school in rural area. During his two years as teacher, he found that the people around him were quite easygoing and hospitable.

“I never gave up my dream of shooting a feature-length film that provokes others to pay attention to rural issues,” Li said. “I collected many stories.”

“A documentary is able to unveil the lives of vulnerable people,” he said. “It was easy for me to communicate with them.”

In the following years, Li produced many programs and documentaries about China, including Brave Father (2007), which depicts traditional parenting in China.

But later he expanded it to expose the social problems hidden underneath the surface.

Messy life goes on

What’s striking about Where Should I Go is its presentation, which examines and scrutinizes without judging.
The movement of people from one place or occupation to another is a metaphor for the larger radical changes happening around them.

“From my works you can see that I’m not concerned about the city or the countryside specifically; it’s where they meet that intrigues me,” Li said. “The environmental and mental changes those migrants go through inspires me.”

One is left with a deep feeling of irrevocable change only heightened by the confusion caused by the spread of modernization.

While the bitter experiences convince some to return home, others remain, determined to make it in the big city.

0

阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报
已投稿到:
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...
发评论

       

    发评论

    以上网友发言只代表其个人观点,不代表新浪网的观点或立场。

      

    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 不良信息反馈 电话:4006900000 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有