Eighteen years ago, the Three Gorges Dam was in the building process. The Zhang family, who lived in the old town of Yunyang had to move elsewhere. One day, the grandfather suffered a stroke and lost his memory. The children returned to look after him. The eldest daughter even bought an apartment and new furniture for her old man. Years later, Grandpa Zhang turned better. It is time to consider how the family should go on. The topic is now focused on the eldest grandson. The relatives ought to worry about his marriage, for he is already 28 years old. Facing this urge, the grandson has then considered pretending to marry his best friend to comfort the family, while living a completely different life in Europe.
Xie Shuchang was born in Chongqing, China. He finished his bachelor’s degree at Southwest University in Chongqing in 2009. In 2011, he went to Germany to study Filmmaking with professor Wim Wenders and Angela Schanelec at the University of Fine Art in Hamburg. In 2016, his film PER SONG has been selected in film festivals such as Visions du Reel, Filmfest Hamburg, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, China Independent Film Festival and DOK.Fest Munich.
The film depicts the present state of Yunyang City after the Three Gorges Dam project and the daily lives of its inhabitants through conversations, encounters, relationships, and above all, movements. But life is not just a story. It is just an attempt to look at life from the outside, to gain distance, not to intervene. I wanted to find a fluid transition from life to film. A sick Grandpa on a trip, a happy woman who broke her leg but taken care of by her man, talking about children at a family dinner, buying a new bed, even a girl crying silently in the nightlight. This happens in any place on any given day. Yet every situation vanishes in the next second. People move on, and I can’t really do anything about it. It’s normal that time won’t stop, and I was wondering what would happen in cinema if we just stick to nothing but normalcy.