Skip to content

A Pei

Ma Zhandong

Release year: 2010

Run time: 106 minutes

Film type: Documentary


This story of a young man of Yi ethnicity illustrates the difficulties when traditional culture meets modernity and the ideals of a young man.

A Pei, an Yi singer, returned to his hometown from Beijing for a big event—the county’s celebration. Those folksongs full of suffering and bitterness nowadays are only decorations for the powerful and rich people. As an ethnic minority, A Pei has been away from his hometown but has not yet become a part of city life. He doesn’t have a job or belong to any organization. He is just a singer who will only be called back when there is a holiday or event. “There are many people like me. They are all in their hometown, and they can’t leave. I will sing when I can sing, and there’s nothing special about me”.


Director biography

Ma Zhandong is an independent documentary producer who has filmed and produced tens of documentary films, long and short. His works have been screened at film festivals in Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark, France, Japan and Hong Kong. He has also made short art films and videos. He was interviewed by ARTE in 2009. He served as a final film juror for the 14th Beijing Independent Film Exhibition in China and as a shortlisting juror for the 12th FIRST Youth Film Exhibition.

His work One Day in May won the best documentary award in 2011 at the Chinese Documentary Festival in Hong Kong. Lao Zhao won the Documentary Humanitarian Award at the 12th China Independent Film Festival. Everybody is Nobody won the 33th ATP Award for Excellence in Tokyo).

Now he lives and works in Chengdu, China.