Among a vareity of topics covered in documentaries, dream is the one that never fades. Documentary makers use cameras instead of painting brushes to paint people living in our time and what they dreams look like.
For the 23rd Shanghai Television Festival, there are a number of documentaries running for the Magnolia Awards in Documentary. Main characters of these stories are from different countries and backgrounds. Although they differ from each other, their commitments to pursuing their dreams are the same.
I am from Xinjiang on the Silk Road
To most Chinese people, Xinjiang in the Northwestern border area of China is faraway, exotic and mysterious. The extend of knowledge for most people about Xinjiang goes as far as Hami melons, grapes and beautiful girls but nothing more beyond into the real local diverse culture and sceneries, Xinjiang people’s lives in all parts of China as well as the happy and painful fitting-in processes. Most of us only know them through plat and stereotyped messages.
To break the stereotypes, the director Kurbanjan Samat kept track of Xinjiang people’s lives for a long period of time and made this documentary focusing on Xinjiang People. He records and reflects lives of Xinjiang people who left their hometowns to live in big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Xinjiang people in his documentary work really hard for their dreams, trying their best to fit in and to blend with people from different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, this documentary helps the audience better observe and understand the real lives and the ambitions inside of Xinjiang people in other cities, which is a new perspective to get closer to Xinjiang.
The documentary is the latest work of British documentary director Carol Salter who followed a 17-year-old young and full-of-vitality Chinese girl, Yingling, into her job and life as a mortician at a funeral home in China.
As a child of migrant workers in the city, Yingling started working when she should be a student in college. Because of the high pressure in the job market, Yingling chooses to take the job that no one would want to do. How could she break the fixed life pattern of her father’s and live her life well in the city? How could she stands on her own and take steps closer to her own dream? This is what the younger generation of migrant workers’ society have to face these days, and it is also what this documentary is about.
Every Chinese could say something about Ma Yun and Alibaba, since the development of this company is one of the most influential Chinese Dream in the recent 20 years. But everyone may also find it hard to specifically elaborate on how this company gets to influence our lives bit by bit. This documentary reviews the magic process of dream making.
As an official documentary of Alibaba and the first documentary for a startup company, Dream Maker which was released in 2016 has exposed many precious inside videos and images about Alibaba for the first time. Through these archives, the audience could see how this powerful company in China developed from an ordinary residential building in Hangzhou into an Internet business empire with an annual income of almost 100 billion yuan.
Bosses In Silicon Valley
If we are voting for the place in the world where dreams could most possibly be realized, Silicon Valley will definitely be brought up and probably win the most votes. It is the place where Apple, Google and Intel were born, and it is the place where more and more high-tech startups are surfacing every day. There are also some people there who are the angels of such startups. They are the investors who could make others’ dreams come true and who have a say in Silicon Valley.
In six 45-minute episodes, the documentary tells stories of six famous VCs, Naval(founder of Angellist, pioneer of Equity-based crowd-funding), Joe Lonsdale (foundation of Formation8), Shou-Cheng Zhang(Danhua Capital), Wu Jun(founder of Amino Capital), Carl(founer of Terrafugia) and Dannielle Fong (founder of lightsail). Their fields are closely related to human lives in the future.
Angela Merkel - The Unexpected
Hillary Clinton lost her campaign, Park Geun-hye was impeached and Yingluck Shinawatra was banned from politics…women once in the center of power in the world are stepping down one after another. But Merkel is still there. The documentary tells the story how a physicist from East Germany developed into the most powerful woman in the world and what she is facing on her table.
In the exclusive interview, Angela Merkel revealed her personal life in Germany, especially the before-and-after states after the Berlin Wall collapsed. Her own views about history could be connected to her refugee polices, which will help us clearly understand what this legendary woman’s dream is and how she is changing Germany through a series of policy-making.