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Chinese Embassy host film festival

By: LEXIE UNAMI MOSES


The Chinese Embassy in Botswana and the Gaborone film society have been holding a Chinese movie festival at the AV Center, Maruapula School every Tuesday of this month. The movie Little Red Flower was screened on July 1st, followed by Shower on July 8th, Zhou Yu's train on July 15th, Shanghais Dreams and Still Life to be screened on July 22nd and 29th.

The Chinese have a long history in the film industry. Though the first film in China was shown in August 1896 and in 1897, the Film industry is considered to have commenced in 1913 with Zheng Zhengqiu and Zheng Shichuan's film "The Difficult Couple." The 1930's saw the maturing of the industry in China. In Shanghai, an early Centre of production, approximately 60 films were produced annually. The Chinese industry continued to grow and flourish during the 1940's and in the 17 years between the establishment of the People's Republic of China in  1949 and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) 603 feature films and 8,342 reels of documentaries and news footage  were produced. The industry was State owned.

In the early 1980's films like Chen Kaige's Yellow Earth (1984) and Zhang Yimous Red Sorghum (1987) reached international audiences and gained critical acclaiming around the world. From 1992, China started to open its audiovisual market to producers from overseas. Now the Chinese industry has really grown to be very successful.  

The Chinese Ambassador Ding Xiaowen said that the whole reason for this film festival is to let Batswana watch Chinese movies and gain better understanding of the Chinese history and culture, build a good friendships, as well as get further knowledge before the Beijing Olympic Games.

 "Shower ", a 94 minutes  movie  rated 12+ was viewed last week  and is a story about the clash of generations and family conflicts, based in a Beijing bath house.  A 25 minutes newsreel on the Beijing Olympic Games was shown soon after the movie. Books and DVDS which relate to all aspects of China and some Beijing souvenirs were distributed to the audience .

Chinese ambassador Ding Xiaowen added that Beijing is more than ready for the Olympic Games and they wish all the best to Botswana to make it at the Olympic Games. "The Chinese Embassy will organize more similar activities in Botswana to promote the cultural exchanges and mutual-understanding between the peoples of China and Botswana," he concluded    GAZETTE



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