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Icarus Film
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From the dGenerate Films Collection
Street Life(Nanjing Lu)
Directed by ZHAO Dayong
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STREET LIFE explores the hidden lives of homeless migrants who survive in the shadows of one of Shanghai's most historic and affluent streets.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants are drawn to the allure of Shanghai, one of the world's most vibrant cities, with hopes of earning a decent living. Some end up in the dark alleys of Nanjing Road, Shanghai's largest shopping street, where they learn to hustle and scrape together any kind of living they can. One migrant, known as Black Skin, faces numerous pressures in his daily existence, including police violence. Black Skin's story intersects with those of fellow bottle collectors, enterprising thieves and even a young boy who was abandoned. Eventually Black Skin goes mad, dancing wildly through the crowds of Nanjing Road and in the doorways of luxury shops.

Director Zhao Dayong (GHOST TOWN, 2009 New York Film Festival) arrived in Shanghai in 2004 and began documenting the lives of itinerant Chinese using digital video. He saw their stories as overlooked portraits of the deep social impact caused by China's rapid economic growth. Zhao uses bold, exaggerated compositions in order to emphasize the relationship between his vagrant subjects and the city streets they inhabit. The result is a raw, vivid portrait of physical and psychological rootlessness. STREET LIFE reflects the way of life for thousands of forgotten people in one of the world's largest cities.

Jury Prize, Beijing Documentary Film Festival
City of Rome Prize, Rome Asiatica Film Mediale
Vienna Film Festival
Berlin Blobale Film Festival
Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival, China
Filming East Festival, UK
Flaherty Film Seminar
  

98 minutes / color
Mandarin w/ English subtitles
Release: 2012
Copyright: 2006
Sale: $295

Subject areas:
Asia, China, Homelessness, Migration, Sociology, Urban Planning & Design, Urban Studies, dGenerate Films Collection - Documentaries



Related Titles:
Fortune Teller: The life of a countryside fortune teller provides a candid and deeply revelatory look at people living on the fringes of Chinese society.

Ghost Town: A remote village in southwest China is haunted by traces of its cultural past while its residents piece together their existence.

Long Story Short: Over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, and job training centers discuss their experiences of poverty.

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