Beijing Cotton-Fluffer

CHINA / 1999 / Chinese / B&W / Video / 78 min
Director, Editor: Zhu Chuan-ming
Producer: Chen Jia-le
Source: Zhu Chuan-ming

Zhu Chuan-ming

Born in 1971. After graduating from a technical school, entered a factory and was a worker for five years. He then applied for the entry exams of the Department of Photography at Beijing Film Academy. Has published some novels, poetry, and prose. Beijing Cotton-Fluffer is his first work in the visual arts.

A young man has left his home village in Hunan Province for Beijing, to make a living fluffing cotton of old quilts and cushions. He lives in a makeshift roadside shack and waits for customers to arrive. The filmmaker, a student at the Beijing Film Academy, befriends the young migrant and begins to record his daily life.
The video shows him in his frustration and loneliness at his destitute life in the big city. An old hometown friend, now a college student, is not terribly happy to meet him again. Poverty and power relations within his family limit his ambitions and memories of an old girlfriend leave him confused.

Director's Statement
When I was informed by the selection committee that my documentary film Beijing Cotton-Fluffer had been invited to the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, I understood that they must have been very tolerant about the roughness of my work and all my technical mistakes. I really appreciate that my film will be introduced to more people. In making the film, I was moved by the character's simple and tedious life, sensitive and fragile heart. I was shocked by the misery behind his smiles and sweaty sighs. Recording all with cinematography, I focused on the rough and stupefied faces, and noted their natural life, tears and smiles, hurt and happiness, struggle and resignation. I long to listen and tell, long to have conversation, and long to record. I give my special thanks to the YIDFF for offering me this opportunity to meet everybody.
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COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee