Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2014 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Liu’s Rhapsody
Category BIFF Mecenat Fund
Project Liu’s Rhapsody
Director LI Xiaofeng, JIA Kai
Country China
Director's Profile Li Xiaofeng was born in China. He is a documentary filmmaker and an associate professor at Tongji University, Shanghai. His main film works are Gold Underground (2012), My Last Secret (2008), Pedaling Father (2007), and Walk in the Dark (2005). Those films were officially selected and received awards at a number of international film festivals, including the China Independent Film Festival, Fribourg International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX), and others. Jia Kai is a Chinese documentary filmmaker and an associate professor at Tongji University. His film works include Gold Underground (2012), My Last Secret (2008), Pedaling Father (2007), and others.
Liu Guangjian, the protagonist of the film, quits his government job and leaves his family behind, touring across the country and doing good deeds, in emulation of Lei Feng. He makes a living by shining shoes, but his lifelong ambition is to raise the 30 billion RMB he needs to found an “International Communist University”. Old Liu’s story mirrors the political life in China after 1949. In 1963, Mao Zedong called on the people to learn from an ordinary soldier, Lei Feng, who possessed a “boundless dedication to the cause of communism”. As a sort of continuation of the political discourse, Liu was named as Lei Feng’s successor in 1974. The wide publicity propelled him to the peak of fame and glory in his life. However, as a result of a dramatic and cruel twist, his fate was turned totally upside-down, he was sent to a mental hospital, and was unable to rise up again, after a fall which lasted years. In 1998, Old Liu decides to stage a comeback. To a certain extent, his personal past and present, are intimately tied with the past and present of his nation; their intersections constantly move forward with the spinning wheels of Liu’s old truck.
Director's Note
"Red Culture" is making a comeback in China, and Liu, who has traveled all over China advocating the spirit of Lei Feng, strikes a humorous note in the chorus. Liu is the Don Quixote of China, who has devoted himself totally to advocating the spirit of Lei Feng. Liu is a fighter with an iron will, who refuses to give up his beliefs even when incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital. Liu is a spirit detector, a walking medium, a guinea-pig trapped in a loudspeaker. Liu is the soul-mate of the mad, the hero of the poor, and a target of the local police. This is a tragicomedy about a man’s fate, interweaving history and reality.
Still Cut