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Before Spring


1958 / China / color / 38 min / 35mm

Director, Script, Editor: Joris Ivens
Camera: Wang De-cheng, Shi YiminĘ
Commentary: He Zhongxin; spoken by: Xie Tian
Production company: Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, Beijing


In 1958 Ivens was invited to China to make a film, and to act as a general consultant to the Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio in Beijing. In addition, he taught at the Film Academy in Beijing. The same year he began a project called "Snow," which eventually turned into Before Spring, a film he made together with young Chinese filmmakers who were afforded the benefit of his vast experience. Before Spring is meant to be an apolitical and poetic portrait of Chinese life in relation to the land and the seasons. It starts with winter images of Inner Mongolia, which are followed by the awakening of spring and the Spring Festival. The people are depicted in relation to their work on the land.

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COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee