Try to Remember
CHINA / 2005 / Mandarin / Color / Video / 90 min
Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Narrator, Producer, Source: Zhong Jian
A mother returns to her home village Yantang with her son, who carries a camera as she shows him around. The words pour out from her soul as she tells her son about the misery of village life and the days of the Cultural Revolution, when she was a young Red Guard. As she firmly plants her feet on home soil and encounters people from the past, she retraces a string of memories. The son responds straightforwardly and frantically by way of the camera. As the window of the now empty house where she was born is thrown open and the light floods in, the son receives a bundle of memories from his mother. Try to remember, so that it will not be forgotten . . .
[Director’s Statement] If the reality of a record comes from an actual life, if a memory can be attached to a piece of land, I can associate it with only one kind of story—a story about growing. It always appears in history gradually, and is washed away by history itself. Everyone has their own highlights, climax, pain and happiness while growing. However, there is a certain kind of fate hiding there as well. Maybe I can dedicate this film as a birthday present to my child in twenty years. I can tell him a story about a family, a story about a land, and a story about our family—because this story is from my mother, who is his grandmother.
Born 1982 in Kunming, China, Zhong Jian entered Yunnan Arts Institute in 2001 to study film. In 2003, he took part in a film show at the First Yunnan Students Film Festival and the first Nan Nan Assicuated (Yunnan, Tainan) with his documentary, Day after Day. Graduation project Try to Remember was well received at the second Nan Nan Assicuated in Taiwan this year.