There's A Strong Wind In Beijing



What a fantastic documentary!

Simple, chaotic, funny, subversive and moving.

With consummate simplity, Ju An Qi roams the street of Beijing to gain an insight into a culture which is grappling with change but which holds on to recent tradition with a white knuckled grip.

In making this sublime work and due to the shortage of 16mm stock in China Ju An Qi utilised all manner of 16mm stock (some years out of date) to create a truly guerilla work. In fact all the material which was shot, was used in the film.

Rather than attempt to prise open the culture (which according to Ju has lost the art of spontaneity) by asking formal questions, this crew simply asks "is there a strong wind in Beijing?" Like Jeff Krulick's classic pop-culture work Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Ju is not so much interested in what is said but the WAY it is said. It is truly amazing just how much a simple gesture or reaction can reveal about a person and in this instance how much it can reveal about a culture.

In it, the crew of three wander unannounced into through beauty parlours, toilets, schools, restaurants, public squares and all manner of locations. They eavesdrop on public phone conversations, knock on doors and generally have loads of fun capturing some inspired moments which run the gamut of hilarious to intensely moving. The film's final sequence and only real semblance of cohesive story is a powerful and enormously moving moment. And through it all they paint a picture so detailed and honest that you cannot help but marvel at their clarity of vision.

Dazzling and cool stuff, destined to be a film festival staple and underground favourite for a long time to come.

This is a very special piece. If you're a new filmmaker, you need to see this film.