Yu Guangyi
VR, China 2008
90 min

Selected examples of a New Cinema

This unpolished documentary about a hunting couple in the cold, snowy north east of China is the second part of a trilogy by Yu Guangyi about disappearing cultures. After the disconcerting report of the rapidly disappearing lumberjack tradition in The Last Lumberjacks, Yu documents with painful yet beautiful precision in Survival Song, how an unemployed forest ranger maintains his family by illegally hunting wild boar and other small game. Together with his wife, the ranger lives in a rickety wooden hut in the wilderness. There is no electricity or mains water. Their little daughter is at school in the town. Han has to work hard, but is not dissatisfied. Then the unstoppable industrialisation of China also reaches this backwater, and a large water reservoir is built close to Han's home to supply drinking water to nearby Harbin. In vain, the couple resist their enforced departure. The corrupt government plays an unexpected trump card, and the family is forced to fall apart.
Yu films emphatically, intuitively and with great poetic feeling for human drama. Survival Song pays homage to the vulnerable, hard-working underclass of China who, while loyal to those less fortunate than themselves, are marginalised by progress.
(Gerwin Tamsma)

  • Yu Guangyi
  • Yu Guangyi
  • Wang Guosheng
  • Yu Guangyi
Fanhall Films

Fanhall Films Artist's Area, Xiaopu, Songzhuang, Tongzhou DistrictBeijing 101118, China T +86 10 69 59 81 79

Video (Digi Beta)
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