THE CONCRETE REVOLUTION
Chinese with English subtitles, 16:9 letterbox, 61 MINS, 2004
Part objective documentary, part personal essay, on the surface this film charts the transformation of Beijing. In order to present a modern glossy face to the world, one where shiny new buildings and icons of western consumerism are rapidly built and pushed to the foreground, the Chinese Government prefers to hide in the background the hardship of the people constructing the new image, and that of the disappearing world of its culture-carrying elders.
Electing to focus beneath the facade, this intelligent and important work bravely exposes the unseen changes in values and the social cost being payed, especially those of the peasant construction workers of the new China. Told through the contrast of individual's stories with elements of retrospective context, the film functions as a feminine poem on a macho subject using a clever mix of colour and black & white film, stills, snippets of media newsflash and even quotes and songs from Maoist China.
Grand Prix - international human rights film festival, Paris 2005
Special Jury Prize - EBS international documentary film festival, Seoul 2005
Cinematographer: Zillah Bowes
Sound: Sylvester Holm
Editor: Emiliano Battista
Music: Matt Scott
Writer / Director / Producer: Xiaolu Guo
© Xiaolu Guo