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24th Street

Pan Zhiqi

Release year: 2018

Run time: 85 min

Film type: Documentary


China doesn’t have a lot of room anymore for paddlers like Su. He set up a ramshackle restaurant next to a construction site on 24th Street in Hangzhou, but of course he neglected to obtain a permit. Unsurprisingly, the authorities send him and the other illegal dwellers away. Unfazed, Su and his girlfriend Qin find another place for their restaurant, only to be sent away again. Su then decides to go back home to the countryside, where his wife and children, along with Qin’s family, still live. After being away for thirty years, the couple isn't exactly welcomed back with open arms. Filmmaker Pan Zhiqi usually observes Su and Qin’s adventures without comment, but does step in on occasion, such as when the unscrupulous Su is trying to cheat people. With its colourful main character, 24th Street offers an original twist to the story of modernising China—and those on the fringe who can’t keep up.


Director biography

He is documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor at Zhejiang University of Media and Communications. He obtained a Bachelors degree at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts and a Masters degree at the Beijing Film Academy. His works tackle the struggles of ordinary people in the context of a rapidly urbanising China. They include Private Detective, Lost Wall, 24th Street and Paradise Garden (in production). His recent documentary films are co-produced by NHK, KBS, PTS and Mediacorp.

Director's statement

China has became the world's second largest economy because of China's 30 years high speed economic growth. However, behind the rapid development and transformation, part of people’s life space becomes more and more narrow. My film was taken from the shantytown of 24th Street, which was under construction. The main character in the story Old Su once was a member of migrant worker group who made contributions to China's fast-growing economy. Old Su left rural area with his girlfriend Qin to work in every city 30 years ago. From 2010, I have followed them from city to rural area in China for six years. I hope that through the change of this street under construction and Old Su' life as well as emotional experience to show these unimportant people's life and fate in this society great changes of China.