Release Year: 2009
At 14:28 on May 12, 2008, the Great Sichuan Earthquake struck. On the 10th day after the earthquake, devastation was everywhere, and people were stranded. On the 210th day after the earthquake, as the year ended, villages were being cleaned up and tents for refugees were being set up to welcome the visit of officials from the central government (apparently the promise that everyone would be in new housing estates before winter had not been fully fulfilled). Overlook Beichuan, one of the most affected towns: crowds of tourists sightseeing and taking photos in front of the ruins where 70,000 people died in an instant, bargaining with vendors selling DVDs and souvenir albums of the most tragic scenes...
2009 Venice Film Festival Horizon Section, Best Documentary
2009 Vienna International Film Festival, Austria
2009 Vancouver Film Festival, Canada
2009 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, China
2010 Hong Kong Asian Independent Film Festival, China
2009 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, China
2010 French Real Film Festival Competition Unit, France
2010 Southern Film Festival "Southern Award-Chinese Film Competition"
Nearly 100,000 people dead, countless buildings/bridges/roads ruined. Lots of touching stories of people offering help from all over and mourning innocent victims. Yet, disaster brought out also demons in Man’s nature, nakedly transparent. Among aftershocks in the ruins are abuses of the collective system, mistrust between people and local governments, betrayal among survivors… I couldn’t help but record this absurd reality that I didn’t want to see nor would the mainstream media record.
New seeds sown, destroyed houses rebuilt, even lost lives can be replaced by new births. But limits of human nature will drag humanity down if we fail to confront and reflect on our behaviour. Pain could be eased, memories could fade, but disaster may come again…
I am dedicating this film in condolence of those passed away.
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