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A Disappearance Foretold

Olivier Meys and Zhang Yaxuan's A Disappearance Foretold will be screened at UCLA Film & Television Archive.

April 17, 2011 7:00pm to 12:00am

In the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing became an epicenter of the mass destruction and forced relocation of working-class dwellings that have swept urban China in recent years. Many ancient neighborhoods of the capital city were destroyed and “renovated.” Belgian documentarist Olivier Meys and Chinese producer/critic Zhang Yaxuan teamed with a group of independent filmmakers to follow the transformation of Qianmen, a 600-year-old neighborhood just south of Tiananmen Square, into a field of rubble. The film portrays the dramatic fight between the real estate developers and the 80,000 inhabitants of Qianmen—from couples leaving their family house in tears and disenfranchised demolition workers to spirited grannies defiantly resisting eviction.

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