Wenguang Wu – Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999)

Synopsis

Jiang Hu features “Yuan Da” (Far and Wide), an amateur entertainment troupe that roams the countryside around Beijing and neighboring provinces, providing corny programs to local people. The film is full of socio-ethnographic information, as the camera witnesses the routine operations of the troupe and its members’ interactions. Sometimes tension is revealed when members confess to Wu their worries and complaints in a hushed voice.

(Qi Wang, “Wu Wenguang and the Performative Turn of New Chinese Documentary”, chapter 16, A Companion to Chinese Cinema (2012), ed. Yingjin Zhang)

Background

In May 1988, Wu Wenguang (b. 1956), a 32-year-old unemployed man who had a BA in Chinese literature and who had taught in high school and worked as a television journalist before leaving it all, turned a borrowed video camera onto his freelance artist friends in Beijing. Like his filmed subjects, the filmmaker himself was far away from home (kunming, Yunnan province), belonged tgo no “work unit”, had little money, and basically scraped temporary living spaces from friends or in cheap rented homes. At that moment, Wu was unaware that he was making the first independent documentary in contemporay China: Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers (1990) link As a matter of fact, the concept of documentary (jilupian) did not dawn upon him until a few years later, when BIB entered the 1991 Yamagata Internation Documentary Film Festival and other international film festivals.

(Qi Wang, “Wu Wenguang and the Performative Turn of New Chinese Documentary”, chapter 16, A Companion to Chinese Cinema (2012), ed. Yingjin Zhang)

Director statement
One day, in order to celebrate, and because the troupe members hadn’t seen a piece of meat in days, I went to the butcher shop in town and bought ten catties of pork and cooked up a big wok of my specialty, hongshao braised pork. The cook stove was right next to the stage, where a performance was in full swing, so the aroma of braised pork wafted out into an atmosphere already full of song and dance. Everyone backstage crowded around the stove, and as the actors finished their parts and came off stage, they made straight for the wok… It really felt like a festival. In my right hand I held the ladle and in my left, the DV camera, kidding around and randomly recording stuff. After a while someone else took the camera, and then countless hands snatched it back and forth, everyone filming each other.

(Wu Wenguang, quoted in Qi Wang, “Wu Wenguang and the Performative Turn of New Chinese Documentary”, chapter 16, A Companion to Chinese Cinema (2012), ed. Yingjin Zhang)

1.81GB | 2h 30mn | 702×526 | mkv

https://nitroflare.com/view/94CD04DDF195D25/Jiang_Hu_-_Life_on_the_Road_(1999).mkv

Language(s):Mandarin
Subtitles:English hardsubs

3 comments

  1. “This file has been removed due to inactivity”
    Is it possible to repost it?. Thanks in advance.

  2. Thank you so much for this rare film.

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