Bare Your Stuff
Release year: 2010
Run time: 170 mins
Film type: Documentary
This film belongs completely to its editor; from my own personal perspective, it looks at my relationship with the village filmmakers—or I might say, how we met and became entangled. According to my own exploration of the “personal film”, I’d say this one is “spoken in the first person, brought from me to you”. The film’s material comes from video recordings of the Village Documentary Project from 2005 to 2009. When I was filming this, it was only meant to be a documentation of the project; I had no plans to make it into a film. However, at the end of 2009, as I was sorting out myself and my own issues, there ignited in me a new wish for this material: to tell the story of my relationships with these villagers—including how these relationships have changed and developed—from my own perspective. As such, this film just shows you a part of the whole; the point is not to detail the Villager Documentary Project in all its successes and failures, or count the ways it shines. It is simply about how these complete strangers and I became tied, bound, and rolled up together—in a sentence, it’s about the grit of people’s interactions behind the scenes of this project. And it’s about the phrase I keep wanting to shout at them: “Stand your ground! None of you run from this!”
Wu was born in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province in 1956. After graduating from secondary school in 1974, Wu was sent to the countryside, where he worked as a farmer for four years. Between 1978 and 1982, he studied Chinese literature at Yunnan University. After university, Wu worked for three years as a teacher at a junior high school, and after, for four years in television as a journalist. Wu left television and moved to Beijing in 1988 to be an independent documentary filmmaker, freelance writer, and creator and producer of dance/theatre. Wu has completed ten documentaries, including Bumming in Beijing (1990), 1966, My Time in the Red Guards (1993), Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999), Fuck Cinema (2005), Treating (2010), Bare Your Stuff (2010), Because of Hunger: Diary I by Wu (2013), Investigating My Father (2016). These have screened at many film festivals world-wide. He has also published four books of no-fiction.
In 1994, Wu co-founded the independent dance group Living Dance Studio with Wen Hui in Beijing, and created/performed a series of dance performances. These included works like Report on Giving Birth (1999), Report on the Body (2003), Report on 37.8 º (2005), Memory (2008), Memory II: Hunger (2010), which have toured festivals all over the world. In 2005, Wu co-founded the independent art space Caochangdi Workstation in Beijing. Since then, Wu has established a series of documentary and performance programmes, in particular the Village Documentary Project (established in 2005) and Folk Memory Project (established in 2010).