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Chinese Independent Documentary Series: Using

Presented by the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and the REEL CHINA Documentary Biennial.

February 14, 2008 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Using, dir. Zhou Hao, 2007, 145m.
“Using” is the latest work by contemporary Chinese documentary filmmaker Zhou Hao. Shot over the last three years, the documentary follows the relationship between the filmmaker and two “friends” who were drug users in the city of Guangzhou. Apart from investigating at close range a dark and cruel layer of reality of contemporary Chinese society that has rarely been aired, the documentary is also provocative in baring the mutually using relationship between the filmmaker and the filmed subject.


Organizers: Center for Chinese Studies, UCLA
                  REEL CHINA Documentary Biennial, New York

Independent Chinese documentary filmmaking has flourished for over a decade. Produced outside the official or commercial channels by dedicated individual filmmakers, these works—mostly in DV format—are valuable documents of alternative histories and life styles in contemporary China. For our series, we have selected documentaries—divided into five categories (history, education, documentary ethics, minorities, women and gender)—that are not only recent productions but also offer a rich, varied, up-to-date, and intimate view of contemporary China. By presenting exemplary works on various, sometimes controversial topics in different styles, we hope to stimulate discussions of not only the contents of the documentaries but the process, and sometimes the problems, of documentary filmmaking (and by extension history writing) itself.

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