In the Chinese city of Chongqing, only one old neighborhood, Shibati, has survived the government’s drive to demolish and rebuild. But not for long: here too, the narrow alleyways are being replaced by vast shopping centers. To document what will soon have disappeared for good, filmmaker Hendrick Dusollier spends several months in the neighborhood. Initially he’s viewed with suspicion, with the locals regularly asking him, “Why film shabby Shibati when just 100 meters away you could find far more positive images to show?” But eventually he befriends two extraordinary people: Zhou Hong, a curious boy who dreams of one day visiting the nearby Moonlight City Mall; and Mrs. Xue Lian, a sprightly old lady who is a beacon of optimism and openness despite the fact she has to leave her “house of dreams”, as she says. Assisted by these local guides, the film paints a moving portrait of a rapidly changing world, where slums are making way for gleaming high-rises, and traditions are equally being dismantled without compunction.
- Hendrick Dusollier
- 58 minutes
Awards and festivals:
The IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary