Lin Xu-dong
(Film critic / China)

Born in Shanghai in 1951. Graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in 1988. Has been teaching documentary film at the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, TV Department since 1988. Among his published works are: Film in Mainland China: The Sixth Generation? (1995) and About the `Neo-Documentary' in Mainland China (1996). Has directed documentaries including: Laozihao (1996) and Zhalongde Ren (1996). Acted as the General Secretary and International Coordinator for the First International Conference on Documentary Films in Beijing in 1997.

In the course of perpetual history, humankind has left various forms of documentation and accounts, executed in order to closely observe the circumstances of one's own existence. Subsequently, cinema was born, and people began to witness their own self image and lives through an entirely new style. This is what we call the documentary. - So John Grierson claimed, and unified practice with theory: the basics of filmmaking practice with the human tradition of reason.
People dispute this. Actually, if all cinematography could be called "documentation," what in fact is "documentary"? What is the mission of the documentarist? Many earnest documentary filmmakers have contemplated this issue at length. They have answered their own questions through constant, diligent and tireless production. And so their various films became the proof that recorded a historical process happening all around them, the meeting of various cultures and history with contemporary reality, and the filmmakers' unique understanding of cinema itself. That included each filmmakers' unique production environment. Documentary filmmakers strive to see, hear, and understand the entirety of what happens around them. Furthermore, they long for the chance to watch works by fellow documentarists, to meet them face-to-face and present each other's opinions, and understand each other's work. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of the YIDFF staff, such a dream of interaction will actually come true.
I have high expectations for this grand opportunity to further the development of documentary filmmaking in Asia. I say this as a member of the Chinese documentary community, who is experiencing the important transition of history just like the rest of this region's population. It is now the time for Chinese documentarists to account for their own. For me Ogawa was a concrete symbol of such responsible action. Therefore, I am deeply grateful to the YIDFF committee for entrusting such a worthy role to me.

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee