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Before Our Time

Cong Feng

Run time: 15 mins

Film type: Experimental Film


This material relating to the 512 earthquake, all downloaded from the internet, was used in Stratum 2: The Asthenosphere in a mix with material from other content. I have pulled out two of the relatively complete segments and put them together, with some of the subtitles slightly abridged. This also fulfils an idea I had: a film made up of modules that can be freely assembled and disassembled and put back together, a Lego block film, a Transformers-style film. A subject can be disassembled or reassembled into a new subject, the material takes on a new meaning in a new combination-context. Materials are always individual and particular, but the meanings they can be given are infinite and universal.


Director biography

Poet and filmmaker Cong Feng was born in Chengde in 1972. He has previously worked at the National Satellite Meteorology Centre of China and as cultural editor for The International Herald Leader. He has also published two volumes of poetry and taught English to secondary school students. Since 2008, four of his documentaries have screened at the Beijing Independent Film Festival, including the film shot at the school where he taught, The Unfinished History of Life (2010).