Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2007 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Dream of the Empty City
Category PanStar Fund
Project Dream of the Empty City
Director Dan JI
Country China
Director's Profile Dan JI has been making documentaries around Asia, that deals with subject matters that are compelling and moving. Most of her documentaries have been aired on; NHK Japan, KBS Korea and Taiwan Gongshi TV. In 1998 she directed "Japanese Woman after World War II in China." In 1999 she filmed "The Elders" and "Gongbo’s Happy Life" both shot in Tibet. Her filmography also includes "Panqin’s Dream" (2004) and "Spirit Home" (2006).
The outside world doesn't exist, all that exists is inside the ward of a hospital for terminally ill patients; The camera is patiently recording an old man, whose life activities can only be carried out in his bed; Most of the shots are close or medium range; a face or an expression, after contemplating for a long while, one cannot help but think of that Japannese phrase,"Eyes before death" ; Yet, one must also listen patiently. He constantly complains about the inability of his body; then there are his fantasies, his murmuring, as well as his memories which he often forgets... Who is he? What kind of life has he had? No one knows, not even himself; The film documented the last moments of life, facing death in the eyes, and seeing into nothingness; With an unexpected ending it exposes what is hidden beneath...
Director's Note
Exactly fifty years ago in 1957, the new socialist People’s Republic of China launched a nationwide campaign targeting those who had dared to criticize or voice views about the new government. A total of 3,178,470 individuals, mostly intellectuals, were labeled as ‘Rightists’ and sent to labor camp where they would bereformed through work’ for 22 years. The cleansing campaign affected the lives of over 3 million people and their families, causing divorces, suicides, and many family break-ups.
2008 Pusan International Film Festival - Wide Angle
2008 Taiwan International Documentary Festival
Still Cut