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Zhao Liang 赵亮 -- insider documentaries

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clay dube
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Zhao Liang 赵亮 -- insider documentaries

Zhao Liang is a forty-year old filmmaker who is shining light on difficult topics. Each of the four films he's made to date explores critical issues in contemporary China. In February, he spoke with our Asia Pacific Arts about the prejudices, including their own, that a film crew had to overcome in order to make the Gu Changwei feature about AIDS (that film featured Zhang Ziyi). You can see the interview at: http://asiapacificarts.usc.edu/article@apa?berlinale_2011_interview_with_director_zhao_liang_16508.aspx

And just this past weekend, Zhao was profiled in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/world/asia/14filmmaker.html?pagewanted=all. Be sure to watch the video clips from his new film on petitioners in the multimedia section of the webpage. “When you’re working in China, there’s a gray area that you have to navigate well,” Zhao says. He seems to be a master of working within that space.

Crime and Punishment trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jER2wI0BkNM&feature=player_embedded

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Message from mjones

The interview and article featuring Zhao Liang, independent documentary filmmaker and a contemporary artist, will provide our film students with a perspective of the political and cultural climate in China.

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Message from wchu

Zhao Liang's documentary films in China, is signaling a new era for the new generation of the film makers and there are more choices and channels ( QQ and the web) for the masses
"The Chinese Communist Party has always viewed film as perhaps the most powerful medium for swaying the opinions of the masses, and used it for decades as a propaganda tool. More recently, the state has identified the film industry as critical for shaping China’s image abroad."
Zhao Liang is an independent documentary filmmaker and a contemporary artist. He also works on photography, video installation, and video art. He is indeed that provides a great deal of perspective of the Control and Culture situation in China to our students and to the domestic viewers in China and the international viewers in the world.
edited by wchu on 8/15/2011

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Message from agreenberg

I think these resources are terrific to expose students to. Film is such a universal way to communicate and use as teaching tools. Zhao Liang is a great example of how difficult it is to negotiate a career when artistic expression and passion drives an individual. It was very interesting to learn about Zhao's interest in Russian artists, as they have traveled a a similar past - and many of the issues Zhou faces today parallel those faced by Russian artists during the early 1990's. Comparing and contrasting Zhao's work to current Russian independent filmmakers against the backdrop of history might be very interesting for students. One documentary that beautifully shows the changes in Russia is "My Perestroika": http://myperestroika.com/dvd/. My thought is that students might look for parallels in two repressive societies that have been irrevocably changed as people have access to digital technology. The way technology impacts a culture is a great topic for kids, as they think about how they are also influenced by DV.