MY FATHER’S JOURNEY, 87min., Documentary, Canada
Directed by Xiaodan He
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Chongren He was born in 1936, in Li Jiang, a small town close to the border of Tibet. He is a descendent of the Naxi, one of the fifty-six Chinese minorities which has a population of 300,000. What makes the Naxi unique is their ancient Dongba culture preserved through the millenary pictographic writing. This particular pictogram is the only living one in use today and is called the “living fossil”. What makes the Naxi unique is their ancient Dongba culture preserved through the millenary pictographic writing. This particular pictogram is the only living one in use today and is called the “living fossil”.
Besieged by the constant political upheavals and the assimilation of the dominant Chinese modern culture, he currently lives in a small village similar to an isolated island surrounded by endless waves of tourists. This film explores how an individual of 82 years of age can build his own spiritual castle to protect himself and his frail yet precious culture.
Director Biography – Xiaodan He
Xiaodan He, a Montreal based Chinese-Canadien filmmaker, studied film production at the Beijing Film Academy of China. Her main work include The Dance of the Star (doc-fiction, 80 min), Cairo Calling (fiction, 9 min), The Fall of Womenland (documentary, 48 min), A Touch of Spring (feature fiction) and My Father’s Journey (feature
Recounting my father’s path and destiny, I wanted to immerse myself in the riches of his spiritual world. In the context of the disappearance of his own culture, where a dominant culture assimilates the “smaller” cultures surrounding it; how can an individual cope with China’s constant upheaval and change? What is the destiny of a minority in contemporary China? Where does this individual find the strength to follow such a difficult and solitary path till the end? Such are the inquiries of this film.
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