Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Chinese documentary "Common Destiny" presented at Venice Film Festival

A Chinese documentary about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was presented at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday.

Common Destiny, tells the stories of ordinary people, fighting for their dreams across five continents, whose lives are affected by the BRI, China's multi-billion-dollar global trading and infrastructure initiative.

One of the stories is about a schoolgirl in an isolated Kenyan village who wants to become an artist.

She saves money by selling milk from the family goat, until she is finally able to buy a train ticket to Nairobi. There, she finds an art teacher willing to come back to her village to teach her and the other kids.

Another story concerns a retired papermaker who lives in the Spanish city of Cuenca who travels to China to connect with a master craftsman in a remote village. There, he learns the ancient Chinese art of making paper. Inspired, he returns home to Cuenca to reopen his studio and hires a young apprentice.

The protagonist of this story, Segundo Santos, was on hand at the presentation in Venice. "I've been making paper for 40 years," Santos said. "In my city, Cuenca, we've been making paper for 400 years." He said that paper first made its way into Europe through Spain in the 1500's, thanks to trade along the ancient Silk Road. "During my trip to China, I learned from Chinese masters, who transmitted their knowledge along with their friendship and their generosity."

Four-time Bafta award winner Guy Hibbert was one of three screenwriters who worked on the documentary, put together by six Chinese directors and four directors of photography: one American, two British, and one Chinese. "These stories connect to a single narrative, on how the new Silk Road will transform the lives of people across the globe," said Hibbert. "What I love about the premise of this film is that the emphasis is on ordinary people and the struggles in their daily lives."

He described another story from the film, about villagers in Pakistan with no access to electricity, who are desperate to watch cricket games on TV. "These are ordinary stories, but everyone's story is important and profound. I'm a passionate believer in countries working together."

Beijing University Professor Lei Jianjun, who consulted on the documentary, said that humanity is facing the key challenges of environmental protection and sustainable development. "We must face these together," said Lei. "This is why we made the documentary". By showing that people all over the world share similar emotions, needs, and concerns, the documentary shows that "we have a common destiny, and we must work for it together."

Common Destiny is scheduled for release in 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment