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Documentary film presents authentic facet of China

By Cheng Yuezhu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-01-02 15:58

Poster of  This Is Life. [Photo provided to China Daily]

This Is Life, a documentary film created by the Tsingying Film studio and distributed by film distribution platform Elemeet, is set to grace the nation's big screens on Jan 13.

The film features more than 800 short videos captured by 509 ordinary people from all walks of life, especially manual laborers and farmers. The videos were selected by the production crew over the course of a year from a total of more than 50,000 video clips.

By gathering the short video footage, the film engages ordinary people in its creation and presents their authentic life experience, allowing those who are often inadequately represented in mainstream cinemas to take center stage.

According to the film's director Sun Hong, by gathering, selecting and compiling video clips from a vast database, the film presents how people record their own lives, which possesses a power of authenticity even greater than traditional documentaries.

In the film, the audience members will see construction workers working out on the construction site during their spare time, fishermen talking to their cormorants and teasing their greediness for fish, or boatmen celebrating a rare day when they could use tap water.

"It is our creative endeavor, as documentary filmmakers, to present an authentic facet of China, highlighting how each individual establishes themselves in a rapidly developing society," says Sun.

Since Jan 6, the film will embark on its roadshow theatrical release across multiple major cities in China. A series of special screenings are also being organized, including screenings inviting those whose footage are selected, screenings for children and parents, as well as ones for urban dwellers.

A series of cultural merchandise are also due to be released, including lenticular tickets, woven bags, hoodies, as well as Chinese couplets and red envelopes to ring in the Chinese New Year.

"The first time I saw This Is Life, I was immediately drawn to its contemporaneity. This film carries significant experimental value in a contemporary context, representing new modes of expression and ways of life," says renowned film director Jia Zhangke.

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