Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2009 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project New Castle
Category DongSeo Asia Fund
Project New Castle
Director GUO Hengqi
Country China
Director's Profile Guo Hengqi was born in 1980 in Shanxi Province, China. He studied Post Production at the Beijing Film Academy in 2006. He worked as an assistant editor on Ai Weiwei’s documentary [Fair Tale] (2007), and as the editor of Bing Wong’s documentary [Crude Oil] (2007), which was the film installation of the 2008 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and in January 2008, as the editor of Chi Zhang’s drama film [Ubu Roi] (2008), which was collected by the 2008 Seoul Film Festival Committee. As a director, he shot his first film [New Castle] (2009) during February 2008 and April 2009.
 
Synopsis
New Castle is a remote rural village where houses and mountains have been distorted due to excessive mining. Under the “New Village” campaign, all the villagers will be moved into the nearly completed Luxury Buildings. The documentary depicts the life of two groups of people, miners and villagers. The miners who are from all over the country, lost their jobs because of the Olympic Games in Beijing – the mine was shut down to make the air less polluted. The villagers had no better luck. Granny Fan lost two sons and two grandsons in a mining accident. Old Han and Old Wang are still farming. Some youngsters are gambling in the house of Han Bin, who was crippled in another mining accident. In the film, you can also see the village election, the service of local Christians, and people worshipping for a better year to come.
Director's Note
I worked in there and went back to visit in 2007. When I thought about those poor peasants about to move into the new buildings, I couldn’t help wondering if the new homes would indeed bring them happiness. Is the government’s narrative of a prosperous society consistent with how people really feel? Some people lost their home due to the government’s decision, some people destroyed their homes for a living without knowing it, and some people had to leave their home to make a living. Where is home when the society rushes to the ideal of urbanization and uproots the traditional rural society? I wanted to film their daily work and life to show the living situations of contemporary rural people.
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