Programmed by Jean-Marie Barbe
Shibati, the last old area of Chongqing, the biggest city in China, is about to disappear. Zhou Hong, 7 years old, little prince of the streets, and Mrs Xue Lian, 70, godmother of the migrant workers, have to leave their beloved life in this charming neighborhood, to be rehoused in one of the thousands anonymous towers of the faraway suburb.
Above all, Hendrick Dusollier is a man with a curious gaze, the gaze of an intelligent tourist who’s gradually bonded with the people living in the forgotten areas of the sprawling city of Chongqing.
The decision to immerse us using direct cinema is clearly the film’s perfect, formal idea. Alongside the director, we discover the reality of a neighbourhood that’s being demolished, led by our child guide Zhou Hong, the young prince of this labyrinth, and Mrs Xue Lian, a resident from another era.
This method of getting us to discover at the same time as the director the humanity on the verge of disappearing gives the film a vitality that puts us immediately on the side of imagination of these magnificent losers.
By beating a path through this soon-to-be demolished district, Dusollier manages to offer us a eulogy for lost humanity.
Producer, Co-founder of the États Généraux du Film Documentaire de Lussas