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Exploring the lives of mountain folks


07-26-2018 17:20 BJT

Full coverage: ‘看中国’外国青年影像计划专题

Editor’s forward: "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 2018, students from 35 countries were invited to participate in the "Looking China" project. They were stationed in 11 municipalities, provinces and autonomous region here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of "Ecology, Biology, Lifeology."

Do you want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and take a short break to immerse yourself in a peaceful countryside? This is what director Christian Grobbelaar and his team had done. Leaving the city to explore the lives of people who live just outside city limits.

"The Mountain Folk" offers a different angle to understand China's rural culture. Especially in recent years, many Chinese artists have chosen to leave fast-paced cities for more pastoral lives in the countryside, just like Tao Yuanming (AD365-AD427), one of the most important poets in Chinese literature history had done.

He wrote in his famous poem "Back to Country Life (1)":

"I've loathed the madding crowd since I was a boy
While hills and mountains have filled me with joy.
By mistake I sought mundane careers
And got entrapped in them for thirty years.
Birds in the cage would long for wooded hills;
Fish in the pond would yearn for flowing rills.
So I reclaim the land in southern fields
To suit my bent for reaping farmland yields.
My farm contains a dozen mu of ground;
My cottage has eight or nine rooms around.
The elm and willow cover backside eaves
While peach and plum trees shade my yard with leaves.
The distant village dimly looms somewhere,
With smoke from chimneys drifting in the air.
In silent country lanes a stray dog barks;
Amid the mulberry trees cocks crow with larks.
My house is free from worldly moil or gloom
While ease and quiet permeate my private room.
When I escape from bitter strife with men,
I live a free and easy life again."

Coincidentally, the leaf music player in the movie said in the end, "Sometimes, I will pick a leaf from a tree and just start to play a melody. I feel that I'm one with the tree, it seems like I'm the tree and the tree is me. The tree and I feel united and it's wonderful."

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

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