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Yi zhi you dao hai shui bian lan
Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue
© Xstream Pictures
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Jia Zhangke has a close relationship to his hometown of Fenyang in Shanxi Province; this is where he shot his first film Xiao Wu as well as a number of others including Platform and Mountains May Depart. As a result of its strong economic performance and deeply rooted cultural traditions, the region has a special history and has become something of a Chinese Arcadia. Several writers have been here and taken the reality of rural lives as a point of reference for their poems, stories and novels. Jia founded a new film festival in Pingyao in 2017 and, as cultural ambassador of the region, also launched a literary festival in 2019. It was in this context that he made this documentary. In it, esteemed writers Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua and Liang Hong, who belong to three different generations, describe their own experiences and the influence those experiences have on their work in an urbanised China that has been transformed by the Cultural Revolution, economic reform and modernisation.

Jia Zhangke has a close relationship to his hometown of Fenyang in Shanxi Province; this is where he shot his first film Xiao Wu as well as a number of others including Platform and Mountains May Depart. As a result of its strong economic performance and deeply rooted cultural traditions, the region has a special history and has become something of a Chinese Arcadia. Several writers have been here and taken the reality of rural lives as a point of reference for their poems, stories and novels. Jia founded a new film festival in Pingyao in 2017 and, as cultural ambassador of the region, also launched a literary festival in 2019. It was in this context that he made this documentary. In it, esteemed writers Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua and Liang Hong, who belong to three different generations, describe their own experiences and the influence those experiences have on their work in an urbanised China that has been transformed by the Cultural Revolution, economic reform and modernisation.

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