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서울국제여성영화제

사이트맵

ARCHIVE

16th(2014)



When the Bough Breaks

JI Dan

  • China, Belgium
  • 2013
  • 109min
  • HD, DV, HV
  • color
  • Documentary

A group of migrant children have grown up next to a rubbish dumpsite in Daxing in the southern suburbs of Beijing. As high-rise buildings begin to encroach upon their shanty settlement and threaten to swallow up their makeshift hut, the children are faced with a predicament. Should they continue their studies or submit to the early onset of adulthood? As they try to come to terms with their future and the limited choices before them, they begin a struggle to fight against their fate.


 

On the outskirts of Beijing, there is a migrant girl Xia whose family struggles to make a living by collecting used cans and papers
 on a garbage-filled lot. Since Xia’s older sister, who left her home to earn money, has been missing, Xia with her twin sister Ling
 and younger brother Gang became the breadwinners instead of their parents. Xia decides to help Gang to have a good education at
 the expense of her and Ling, because she thinks that their only possible hope is that Gang enters the college. However, Gang feels
 uncomfortable that all the expectations of the family fall on his shoulders, her father is also dissatisfied with her decision as he
 considers that his patriarchal authority is threatened.

 When the Bough Breaks illustrates the situation of one particular family, and explores the difficulties of migrants living at the
 margins of contemporary Chinese society, especially focuses on the educational environment of migrant children who are outside
 China’s hukou (residence permit) system. With close relationship with them over many years, director JI Dan observes them with
 calm and unemotional, but careful and warm eyes. In the final scene, the camera follows the twin sister, Xia and Ling who are
 walking across the snow-covered field. They have a derisive conversation. “President MAO will show us the way. President MAO!
 We’re going to fall into a ditch”. The camera watches their back as they walk away. [KIM Jung-koo]

Director

  • JI DanJI Dan

    "

    Born in 1963. Since graduating from Beijing Normal University, she has been dedicated to documentaries. She started her career filming Japanese women living in northeast China after World

Credit

  • ProducerJI Dan
  • Cinematography JI Dan
  • Editor Marie-France CUENOT