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  • 9 10
  • 2009
  • 118min
  • Original Title: 1428

Premiered at the Venice Film Festival, this documentary shows the reality - not seen in the state media - of the Sichuan population after the catastrophic earthquake of 2008.


AWARDS: Best Documentary. Venice International Film Festival/ Special Documentary Mention. International Environmental Film Festival/ Best Documentary Film. South Taiwan Film Festival 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS: Vienna International Film Festival/ Vancouver Film Festival/ Hong Kong Asian Film festival/ Hong Kong Independent Film Festival/ Taipei Golden Horse International Film Festival/ Dubai International Film Festival/ BLACK MOVIE Film Festival/ Cinéma du reel competitive section/ MOMA Documentary Fortnight/ ZagrebDox/ International Environmental Film Festival/ Shadows Film Festival/ DOK-FILM-FORUM / Goethe-Institut Shanghai

1428. After the great Sichuan earthquake

The “Great Sichuan Earthquake” took place at 14:28 on May 12, 2008. 10 days after: Scenes not seen on official/TV, “survival” is the keyword. Ordinary people are salvaging destroyed pig farms in the mountains, recuperating cents-worth scrapped metals, or pillaging victims’ homes. 

Behind the highly-mediatized official visits, inconsolable grief of families searching for loved ones. Throughout, a vagabond in tattered clothes wanders among the ruins, observing tragic scenes. A monk and a Taoist visionary suggest: “the earthquake is the consequence of Earth-Gods no longer worshipped.”

210 days after: Harsh winter, villagers preparing for Lunar New Year, the Vagabond and family are detailing grievances about the ill-handling of rebuilding schemes and relief funds. Gearing up for a high official’s visit, comes a thorough clean-up of the villages and tent-resettlement for refugees. Promise made for all to live in houses in winter seems tough to keep. 

Fake parts in the community transformer brought electricity blackout for New Year’s Eve reunion dinners. New Year Day starts as never-ending parade of tourists buying DVDs of the most horrific scenes, souvenir albums of corpses being pulled out of the ruins, and photo taking in front of BeiChuan, the town most severely hit, where over 70000 people perished in seconds.

This film is part of our program "China in focus" (by Cathayplay)

Haibin Du
Haibin Du Director

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