ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund

2015 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Wish Tree
Category BIFF Mecenat Fund
Project Wish Tree
Director SU Qing / CHEN Mina
Country China
Director's Profile Born in Inner Mongolia, Su Qing currently resides in Beijing. He has been an independent documentary film director and producer since 2002. His best-known works include White Tower, Spring is Coming, Old Tang, and Sign Language Time. White Tower was selected by the Busan International Film Festival, Yamagata Documentary Film Festival and FID Marseille in 2004.
Born in Chong Qing, Chen Mina currently resides in Beijing. Since 2002, she has been working with Su Qing in documentary films White Tower (2002), Old Tang (2008), and Sign Language Time (2010).
It is early spring at a special school where the parasol trees have yet to blossom. Some deaf and blind students are raising the national flag and exercising under the teacher's sign language and verbal instruction. This scene repeats every week. The parasol trees have been standing around the school for over twenty years. A 14 year-old Cong loves reading and pondering. She is no longer as happy as before. In her essay, she wrote ‘Grandma, why don't you love me? Is it because of my handicap?’ She shares her thoughts with her pet turtle 'Little Princess'. Unfortunately her turtle died this spring after only two years with Cong. A 15 year-old blind Yiwen from the choir is now famous in the city for her capacity to sing opera in Italian. This year, she intends to enroll in the Central Academy of Music, but first has to compete with thousands of talented normal children. It will be a big challenge for her. Hanzi is a beautiful girl with a cheery character. However she has only 10% of hearing and eyesight ability of a normal person. It took her teacher Mrs. Wang four years to train her in verbal and sign languages. Puberty is a lonely time with few friends understanding her. Her teacher Mrs. Wang will also leave her sooner or later. Throughout years in the same school, while the leaves grow and wither over the seasons, we get to know these children, documenting their silent life and tumultuous youth.
Director's Note
It has been more than a decade since we made our first documentary film about deaf people. Since then, it has become part of our lives to get acquainted with and make friends with disabled people. The making of Wish Tree was started at the end of 2011. We chose to focus on a group of children in a special school. From other people’s point of view, seeing these children with physical disabilities produces worries and sympathies. But from our point of view, what we saw was their sparkling eyes and beautiful minds. They have completely different sensory abilities compared to other children. We hope to explore an unknown world full of imagination and surprises with silence and darkness to give unobstructed observation and consistent company.
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