SFMOMA - Turn it On - China on Film 2000-2017

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16 Videos in SFMOMA - Turn it On - China on Film 2000-2017

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Plastic China - The Lives of Recycling Plant Workers in China
This film documents a plastic recycling facility in a small town dedicated to the business of processing plastic waste. The facility is operated by two families: the family of the owner and a family of employees. Eleven-year-old Yi-Jie works alongside…
In Search of Lin Zhao’s Soul - The Life and Death of an Activist
The Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957-59 was one of Communist China's harshest operations against liberal intellectuals. In this era of Red Terror, Lin Zhao, a student at Peking University, went from being an innocent follower to a fearless critic of the…
Falling from the Sky - Rocket Debris Falling From the Sky and Disrupting the Residents of Hunan Province
The little-known county of Suining in Hunan Province is an ordinary yet magical place. As the site of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, the area has experienced many instances of falling rocket debris since the 1990s. These mysterious and dangerous…
Jiabiangou Elegy: Life and Death of the Rightists - The Persecution of Inmates at the Jiabiangou Labor Camp
This documentary series recounts the persecution of inmates at the Jiabiangou labor camp in Jiuquan, Gansu province, and examines the way the victims' final affairs were handled. During the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957-59, more than three thousand people were sent…
6 videos
Readymade - The Lives of Chairman Mao Impersonators
Mao Zedong died in 1976, but his impersonators are alive and well. This film documents the lives of two people who resemble Mao and assume Mao roles. Peng Tian is a villager from Mao's home province of Hunan, who walked…
Disturbing the Peace - An Artist Investigatigates Corruption in China
On the afternoon of May 12, 2008, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Wenchuan County in northern Sichuan Province, devastating a vast area of mountainous terrain and killing some 70,000 people, including thousands of children who were in school when it hit.…
Garden in Heaven - Fighting for Women's Rights in China
"Garden in Heaven" is the name of a memorial website for the date-rape and murder victim Huang Jing. When Huang was found dead, she was naked and had wounds on her body, but the coroner declared illness as the cause…
Sanlidong - A Portrait of Coal Miners in China
In 1955 more than three hundred impassioned youths traveled from Shanghai to the Sanlidong coal mine in Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province, with the hope of assisting with the building of China's northwest territory. Fifty years later, most of them are gone.…
Storm Under the Sun - The Persecution of a Writer Fighting for Artistic Freedom
This film documents the persecution of Hu Feng, a renowned writer and literary critic who championed artistic freedom and was jailed and purged in the 1950s. Hu was the first intellectual to be singled out and directly condemned by Mao…
Fairytale - Contemporary Artist Ai Weiwei Invites Chinese Citizens to Attend His Art Exhibition in Germany
In 2007 Artist Ai Weiwei took part in Documenta 12 with a participatory event called Fairytale, named after the Brothers Grimm who were born near Kassel, the German city that hosts the famed art exhibition. Ai invited 1,001 people from…
Nightingale, Not the Only Voice - Three Artists Embark on a Journey of Self-Discovery
This documentary follows the lives of three artists, including the film's director, on their shared journey through real and psychological oppression to self-discovery. Tang Danhong examines her past--particularly her relationship with her parents--and looks at the painful, formative moments that…
Karamay - Memories of a Terrible Tragedy
On December 8, 1994, the Karamay Municipal Education Commission in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region convened 796 students and teachers at the Karamay Friendship Theater for a performance. The theater, built in 1958 and renovated in 1992, was a city…
Apuda - A Father and Son Living in a Remote Chinese Village
This film is an intimate portrait of the daily life of a man and his son. Apuda is nearing middle age but his mind is like that of a child. He lives with his father, who has great love for…
Prisoners in Freedom City - Activists Living Under House Arrest
Civil rights activist Hu Jia was held under house arrest from 2004 to 2008 in the upscale eastern suburbs of Beijing. One day Hu picked up a video camera and began to document things outside the window: his watchers, shepherds…
Dream Walking - Chinese Artists Living in Poverty
This film follows four artists living on the margins of society whose passionate discussions belie their stark and impoverished living conditions. The subjects are performance artist Li Wake, painters Wang Yongping and Ding Defu, and poet Motou Beibei, who is…
Silver City - Villagers in Northwest China, Forced to Relocate
Because of the West-East Gas Pipeline project and the so-called village urbanization campaign, the people of a long-isolated town in north-west China are removed, by force and deceit, from the land that has sheltered them for generations. The real protagonist…