ALWH – Statement Director

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A Long Way Home

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ALWH – statement director: My exploration of China and Chinese culture goes back more than 25 years now. Since the brutal suppression of the Democracy Movement in 1989, I’ve traveled through China several times. I have followed its economic development and subsequent political and social upheaval with both amazement and bewilderment.

The deeper I delved into the country the more I learned about its grim history, the effects of which can still be felt in China today. Along the way one question has arisen time and time again: What do external events, ruptures and changes trigger in people, and how does it impact their daily lives?

China also always inspired me to think about my own world. Taking a close look at another culture can cause you to see your own in a new light. This was a view also held by French ethnologist and philosopher Claude Lévi-Strauss who felt both encounters and confrontations with a foreign culture give us an opportunity, or stronger yet, a responsibility to look at and question one’s own society.

From my perspective as a Swiss filmmaker, I ask myself where the protagonists find the courage to expose themselves. How would I behave in their situation? How are we each shaped by our past? And finally: How is it possible that the essence of many of the existential problems they are confronted with seem surprisingly familiar to me, despite our vast cultural differences?

Beijing luc schaedler a long way home 2

 

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