A decade old, Xinjiang film shows changes in restive Chinese region

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In 2002, Ju Anqi’s low-budget film “Poet on a Business Trip” took just one main actor, one camera and 40 days on the road in China’s remote western Xinjiang region to film. But it would be another 12

A decade old, Xinjiang film shows changes in restive Chinese region

In 2002, Ju Anqi’s low-budget film “Poet on a Business Trip” took just one main actor, one camera and 40 days on the road in China’s remote western Xinjiang region to film.

But it would be another 12 years before the film was completed.

The long gap between shooting and editing means that what originally set out to be a story of a journey into the nature of human desire became a powerful record of a more peaceful time in the increasingly restive region. Hundreds of people have been killed in violence in the last two years between the Muslims and ethnic majority Han Chinese – both of whom call Xinjiang home.

In the film, a poet sets off on a business trip across the barren landscape, hitching rides and befriending the local population as well as visiting prostitutes. Along the way he composes 16 poems.

SOUNDBITE: Ju Anqi saying (Mandarin):

“Actually this is really something absurd. There’s no way a poet could go on a business trip, there’s no-one to send him on a business trip. He’s sent himself on a business trip. Actually I think this can be seen as an understanding of our times.”

The film was released to critical acclaim and crowned best Asian feature film by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in February.

Tags : region, Chinese, Restive, changes, Shows, Film, Xinjiang, old, decade

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