|Opening Film (1)||New Currents (22)|
|Asian Spectrum: Camera Is My Heart! (3)||Polemics: To love hot or to live hard (6)|
|A Life In Front of the Camera: Actress in Re/Action, KAGAWA Kyoko (8)||Queer Rainbow: Allure & Lust over Phobia (11)|
|Open Cinema (4)||Asian Short Film and Video Competition (26)|
|Documentary Ock Rang Award (1)||Multicultural Media Academy: Herstories and Visions (12)|
|Special Screening: The Murmuring - Resolving History While Still Breathing (3)||Special Screening: Barrier Free Screening, Promise for 10 Years (2)|
Synopsis Program Note
Born in Beijing tells the story of ‘petitioners’: citizens who feel themselves wrongfully treated by the local authorities and seek settlement in the capital. There are thought to be more than 100,000 petitioners in Beijing. For six years, Ma Li followed the efforts and suffering of a group of homeless petitioners in the south of Beijing.
The ‘petitioner village’ is a village of people who live together to petition the government. Mrs. HAO in this village has pursued
justice for her case for more than 30 years, but it has not been solved yet. During her petition process, she gave birth to her
daughter, “JING Sheng” (the original title of this documentary and the name of the leading character, literally meaning ‘Born in
Beijing’), and live a hard life with her every day. Born in Beijing expands its narrative from their single story of Mrs. HAO and JING
Sheng to various stories of other petitioners who live in this petitioner village.
Director MA Li spent 6 years filming a collective story of ‘petitioner village’ shot in clear black and white with persistence. Born
in Beijing reveals the Chinese political and social problems from their various stories at the same time pictures the petitioners in
Beijing who has been invisible social group in Chinese society. In other words, given other contemporary Chinese documentaries
dealing with petition issue such as ZHANG Liang’s Petition and YING Liang’s When Night Falls, Born in Beijing illustrates not only
the Chinese absurd reality shown from petitioners’ stories, but a new landscape as a social phenomenon and their hardship and
pain in this Chinese society. [KIM Jung-koo]
MA LiMA Li
Born in 1975 in Zhejiang, Ma Li has been working as a documentary filmmaker for more than 10 years. She has directed many of the documentary programmes for television. Mirror of Emptiness (2010) is her first feature-length documentary. Her film Born in Beijing (2012) was shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the Green Chameleon at CinDi in the same year.