Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

The Fading Village (2020)

An epic, magnificently shot chronicle of a tiny Chinese hamlet enduring one of its final yearly cycles of harvest and hardship, Liu Feifang’s delicate but mighty debut documentary feature “The Fading Village” is loosely organized around the last member of the newer generation to still live in the Shanxi Province village of Heishuigetuo.

Goat farmer Hou Junli is 35, but whatever hope his relative youth might hold out for a rejuvenation of his hometown has already passed: While Junli tends to his dwindling flock under the hectoring instruction of his mother and the silent, saturnine eye of his aging father, his wife and son live in the city. And the boy dislikes the village because there are no malls and you can’t get a Wi-Fi signal: This is no country for young men.

Stories about “the dark side of China’s economic miracle” are in such plentiful supply as to have that phrase become something of a cliché, and to be sure, Liu’s nearly three-hour-long opus, on which maestro Jia Zhangke is prominently thanked, does not reinvent the social-realist documentary wheel. But the unforced poetry that Liu, who has a background in photography and acts as co-DP with Cheng Chiaming, finds in his heart-stopping landscapes and up-close portraiture makes us feel the scale and weight of this slow-acting tragedy anew.

Jessica Kiang, Variety

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Film Title : The Fading Village
Language : kiina
Director : Liu Feifang
Year : 2019
Length : 172
Age limit : S
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Liu Feifang, Cheng Chia-ming
Editing : Guo Hengqi
Music : Roc Chen
Producer : Gu Yijing, Liu Guanming
Production Company : Shanghai Haojin Film Center, Shanghai Yingrun Culture Media CO.,Ltd
Title in Original Language : Chun Qu Dong Lai

Screenings :
Wed 29.1. at 13.30, Orion
Fri 31.1. at 16.30, Maxim 2
Sun 2.2. at 12.00, Maxim 2