Two films from Caochangdi Workstation
In 2010, pioneering Chinese filmmaker Wu Wenguang founded the Memory Project. Housed in the Caochangdi Workstation in an art district on the outskirts of Beijing, the project’s purpose is to teach documentary production skills to aspiring amateur filmmakers, who then travel to their familial villages to collect oral histories about some of the most tumultuous periods of the twentieth century, including the Great Famine and Cultural Revolution. To date, the Memory Project has collected over a thousand interviews and produced fifty-six feature-length documentaries.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is delighted to welcome Wu Wenguang and his collaborators back to UCSB for a screening of two Caochangdi Workstation works: Zhang Menqi’s Sphinx in 47KM (2018) and Wu Wenguang’s Autobiography II: Struggles (2019). Sphinx in 47KM explores the relationship between painful memory and hopeful imaginations. Deploying a series of stunningly framed long takes, the film cuts between a mother recounting the harrowing story of her adult son’s death and a young girl who expresses her view of the future by painting a mural on a village wall. Autobiography II: Struggles raises questions about belonging, identity, and social history. The film focuses on Wu’s mother’s past, and completes a duology that Wu began with his 2016 film Investigating My Father, which previously screened at the Pollock Theater.
Director and Memory Project founder Wu Wenguang and director Zhang Mengqi will join moderator Wesley Jacks for a post-screening discussion.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.