WE WENT TO WONDERLAND
This is a prime example of how to make an accessible and convincing film about complex and personal subjects on a low budget and without fear of experiment and poetry. The maker of How is Your Fish Today? films the visit of her Chinese parents to London, their first time abroad.
Last year the festival screened How is Your Fish Today? by the Chinese writer/film maker Guo Xiaolu, who now lives in London. This year sees the world première of another new film in which she reports on a journey to the west by her parents. After an operation, her father is no longer able to speak and write his observations on paper: 'The water is very tasty in the West', 'The flowers on the grave of Marx have been dead for ages', ' Where is the population of Europe?'
While his wife looks at the Houses of Parliament, he gazes at the clouds floating by. And later, when they travel to Rome and walk through the Vatican, the mother still talks about English parks. He wants to see the whole world and she wants to go home.
The relationships in the family are full of tangible things that go without saying. That does not detract from the fact that the director, the daughter, meanwhile knows very well what major subjects are at the heart of her film: her film is a mirror for the West and takes a subtle look at relations between East and West, the consequences of globalisation and its influence on families.
Guo shot her witty yet sharp portrait with the video function of her digital photo camera, giving her much freedom and giving the film a beautiful light experimental texture. The beautiful soundtrack of the film was of course only constructed later.
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008
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