Here’s a short film from Beijing, China directed by Joewi Verhoeven. It’s an odd and discomforting tale about a solitary writer whose fictional world is intruding upon the real world. The film is a quiet and focused examination of a writer’s creative doubts and fears. I particularly like the bit where a Chinese policeman who is a friend of the writer comes over and can’t seem to see the dead body that is perhaps a result of the unrestricted imagination of the writer. The film also has a lovely soft celluloid look even though it was shot entirely on a Canon DSLR. Also, pay attention to the beautiful and eerie background audio.
This is a film presented at the TED conference from the famous Chinese artist who was recently kidnapped by Chinese authorities. He has completely vanished along with thousands of other artists, journalists, writers, intellectuals and human rights workers who have been taken in the past several months. This artist speaks very simply and clearly about the situation in his country where his government watches him all day long and sees nothing wrong with bulldozing his studio to the ground because he expresses some criticism of what he sees around him.
What I do not respect about this video is the simpering nitwit from TED who introduces the film by stating that the TED conference takes no position on China. He then goes on to bend over for China and mentions how many people have been lifted from poverty in China. How far up China’s ass can this guy fit his head, I wonder? How can any organization not take a position on China? I’m sure if Hitler were around today and rambling across the land on an extermination campaign, this bunch from TED would take no position on that.
Look at this little notice on TED’s YouTube page where the film is hosted:
TED is a non-partisan, nonpolitical organization and we understand the Chinese authorities concern at anything which might provoke social unrest. But for anyone who believes in the power of ideas, of human imagination, it is heartbreaking to see one of the world’s great artists shackled in this way. We will be tracking developments carefully. Here is the film.
TED ‘understands the Chinese authorities concern at anything which might provoke social unrest!’
Oh my god! Yes indeed. They understand this concern of a totalitarian murdering government that is more than happy to make people vanish into prison because they want to complain about being beaten by a policeman.
Hey TED, here I come with my ticket! Gosh, I wouldn’t want you to be concerned that I might boo one of your presentations. Wouldn’t want that, would we?
Lifting people out of poverty in China is not what we need to be doing. We need to be shutting these people out entirely. We need companies that do not fill their computers with Chinese parts. We need toys that do not come painted with Chinese lead poison. We need to treat this totalitarian country the way it deserves to be treated. A rich China doing business with every company on the planet is not going to advance freedom for anyone. China needs to be pushed into abject and brutal poverty. Only then will the conditions exist for a revolution.
I opened up my Dell computer the other day to blow some dust out. The first things I saw were multiple ‘Made in China’ stickers on various components. Screw Dell. Screw every Western company that buys a single circuit board from China. Screw China.
China has been kidnapping large numbers of artists and intellectuals who completely disappear. They recently took the artist in this photo. While he was being taken away he snapped the photo of his reflection inside an elevator. He’s very famous. He has been totally vanished by the Chinese.
Many others have too. They are being taken and vanished because China is very afraid of something.
They are afraid of something big. Something that was to be peaceful – the way it has been in some other countries recently. But in China you cannot do it peacefully. You will be murdered if you try to do it peacefully.
You must do it with an explosion.
You must do it quickly.
The Chinese can eliminate their problem. The problem is usually to be found wearing a uniform. It must be eliminated quickly and by any means at hand. If you are in China, you are living in a massive slave camp that provides slave labor to Western corporations. You might decide that you want to end your slavery.
That is my message to the people of China.
This film was written and conceived by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Theodore H. White. It covers 175 years of Chinese history, showing the turbulent forces that led to the victory of communism. The film is rumored to have had CIA involvement with its making and it has been harshly criticized for being blatantly dismissive of its subject and casually racist. But of course the harsh attitude toward its subject makes sense when placed within the context of a U.S. government trying to resist the spread of communism in the sixties.
Egypt has begun to put out its garbage. It’s an amazing achievement for Egyptians that I have witnessed via the news video and photos coming from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Congratulations to all the Egyptians who wanted to be free. They forced a raping, murdering, totalitarian criminal to resign his dictatorial position. The dictator Mubarak was and is an ongoing embarrassment and deep shame to the entire Middle East and to the United States that insisted on giving him respect and credibility even while he committed murder and oppressed a great civilization. Egyptians have made an incredible start to ridding themselves of the human garbage that was and is Mubarak. It remains to be seen if Egypt can become truly free and wrest control of the nation from its military.
Hopefully, the revolution in Egypt will spread to topple the rest of the governments in the Middle East which are nearly unanimous in their willingness to allow brutal thugs and criminal royal families to rule in bitter oppression. These savage despots straight out of the Dark Ages are specialists in murder, rape and complete suppression of all ideas and expression. They also have the absolute respect and support of governments like those in the U.S.
Beyond the Middle East and its ‘royal families,’ it would be astonishing and constructive to see the people of China put their own garbage out by removing their totalitarian government. Revolution is in the twenty-first century air. No one is immune.
Rachel Tejada shot and edited this film about independent and underground film in China. It was produced by dGenerate Films. It’s in six short parts and covers the basics of independent film festivals and efforts to make films that will somehow survive the oversight of the repressive government. I post this out of a measured interest, but I cannot overlook the depressingly passive sadness of everyone who so much as glances into the camera. They consistently refer to themselves as independent filmmakers or underground filmmakers. Underground they may be out of necessity, but they are most certainly not independent. They are comfortably passive and have an absolute zero level of confrontation or rebellion in them.
I cannot muster significant respect for billions of people who want to express themselves and flourish but do not ever make the decision to pick up their totalitarian government leaders and drown them in the sea. You can talk to me until you are blue in the face about your independent cinema, but until your cameras shoot something I’m not listening.
Parts 2 – 6 after the jump