This film is part of an ongoing participatory documentary project exploring the personal histories of the Great Chinese Famine of 1959 to 1961.
Playing as part of Open City Documentary Festival 2022 and made within the context of The Folk Memory Project, filmmaker and dancer Zhang Mengqi has developed an iterative filmmaking practice through repeated studies of life in 47KM, a rural village in Hubei Province named after its distance from the nearest city, Suizhou.
In this film, Mengqi focuses upon her collaborative design process with a group of young local girls as they set out to create and build a new cultural centre within the village, to be named The Blue House. Imagined possibilities for the proposed building are rendered through a series of filmed performances and choreographic moments. These are interwoven with documentation of the design and build of the new structure.“On one of the village’s hills, a new space is coming into being, from children’s paper drawings to the solid ground, from a fairy tale to reality.”