The Chinese Mayor
A former imperial capital in northern China turned coal mining center, Datong has a new mayor, Geng Tanbo. Appointed by the Communist Party, Geng Tanbo applies himself to the job with an entrepreneurial energy that highlights the contradictions of the new brand of state capitalism in China. His plan to turn Datong from one of the most polluted cities in China into a cultural and touristic center complete with a Ming era wall and wholesale antiquities comes at a high price: tearing down tens of thousands of houses and relocating a quarter million residents to a forest of high rises sprung up overnight. For two years, Hao Zhou’s camera had apparently unfettered access to Geng Tanbo’s breathless back-and-forth between the worried residents of the old town and the harried contractors building the new Datong. The ambiguities and contradictions inherent in any progress are captured in this microcosm for the newest great leap forward into an uncertain future. A surprise ending lifts the veil on the inner machinery of the Chinese Communist Party. Journalist, photographer and filmmaker Hao Zhou co-wrote the film with producer Qi Zhao, who also produced IDFA- and Emmy-winner Last Train Home.
The documentary has been "adopted" by the "Salvati Bucurestiul" Association.
AWARDS AND FESTIVALS
2015 - Sundance Film Festival, USA, Special Jury Prize