Border: Travels in China’s Inland Frontier
Release year: 2018
Film type: Documentary
Chai Chunya started in his hometown, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious town located on China’s inland frontier, and travelled to border cities and towns throughout the country. During his journey, he examined in depth the problems of human boundaries caused by religion, culture and politics, and found ,after more than ten years of travel and fieldwork, that the world was originally unbounded. But, through ignorance, people build up mental barriers and set up borders everywhere. This world is becoming barren, indifferent and dead because of the elimination of communication, exchange, and respect. The source of communication, exchange, and respect is love, compassion, and forgiveness. Once the fountain of love, compassion, and forgiveness has dried up, racial discrimination, national hatred, and terrorism, born of barrenness, indifference, and death, will thrive.
Chai Chunya was born in 1975 in a village in the province of Gansu, as remote a place as where he set his debut film, Four Ways to Die in My Hometown. He studied politics and law before starting to work as a journalist and photographer for Southern Weekend—then the most liberal paper in China. He made many journeys, including through Tibet, Xinjiang, North Korea, Yunnan, and Inner Mongolia, that formed the basis for his second film, Border: Travels in China’s Inland Frontier, three novels, and several photo series.