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Mr. Zhang

World Premiere Zhang Jie | 2021 | China | 66min | Documentary
Director: Zhang Jie

Synopsis

Zhang Yonghong is a papercutting artist with osteogenesis imperfecta. His daughter also inherited the disease. A family of three came to Beijing in 2008 for her daughter’s treatment. From then on, they stayed in Beijing by selling handmade papercutting for a living. After divorcing his wife, Mr. Zhang struggled alone in Beijing. In recent years, because business is not good and Beijing’s cleanup of “Holes in the Wall”, Mr. Zhang has difficulties finding a house and frequent move. Despite the enormous pressure to survive in Beijing, Mr. Zhang is reluctant to return to his hometown. To stay in Beijing, he dated a Beijing girl and hoped to marry her and have children with her. But the road to becoming a Beijinger is fraught with difficulties…



《小人儿张》导演照片

Zhang Jie

Zhang Jie, female, 27 years old, from Sichuan. She graduated from the Department of Art and Design, Sichuan Normal University, and majored in radio and television editing and directing, School of continuing education, Communication University of China.


Director's statement

At the beginning of 2017, Beijing began to crack down on illegal activities such as the cleanup of “Holes in the Wall”to ease the migrant and low-end industries. As a result, some small traders are forced to reconsider their livelihood. Some of them choose to change careers or leave Beijing, while others insist on staying in Beijing. Zhang Yonghong is one of those who chose to stay in Beijing. MR. ZHANG is all shot by mobile phone, recording Zhang Yonghong’s life from 2017 to 2019. This documentary explores the reasons why he must stay in Beijing under the great pressure of survival. Is it to cure his daughter’s illness? Is it to realize his dream? Or perhaps it is like the embarrassing situation faced by many northern drifters who have been working for years. The hometown they cannot go back to, and the city they cannot get into.

Mr. Zhang