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Looking China: Fixing watches and rebuilding a shattered life


10-21-2017 09:40 BJT

Full coverage: ‘看中国’外国青年影像计划专题

By CCTV.com Panview

Editor's foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation. The program focuses on the young participants’ personal experiences of Chinese culture and encourages them to discover and tell Chinese stories from their own perspectives.

As of the year 2017, students from all over the world were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 12 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of "Craftsmanship·Inheritance·Innovation.”

The short film, Watch People, directed by Christian Grobbelaar and produced by Hiang Xianjing, features a young adult watch repairman in Xiamen, named Li Xin.

With music conducted by Liam O’Brien playing in the background, viewers soon learn the young man is crippled, who spends much time in a wheelchairs and requires crutches to walk about town.

My. Li recounts the horror of his youth when in just a short time, he was one of the top students in his middle school, but started making friends with the wrong people. One day, he was sitting with his gang when they were making jokes at a group of older men.

A fight had ensued and he was brutally stabbed multiple times, including in the lungs and inner thigh. He was paralyzed from the waist down and his father eventually abandoned him a few years into his recovery.

Li had lost hope, but his body slowly began to recover and despite living alone in a dark room, he learned about the Xiamen Shengchang Watch Shop and heard the owner would teach troubled youth how to fix watches so they could become productive members of society.

He enrolled in the program and has enjoyed fixing watches ever since. He said, "watches are delicate and sometimes you think there's no way to fix a watch, but I always find a way." That's a remarkable quote from a remarkable young man.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

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