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Childhood Is Burning

Xiao Hu

Release year: 2023

Run time: 81mins

Film type: documentary


This film tells the story of Liu Yifan, a Yao student on the China-Vietnam border in Yunnan, and Yang Yankai, a Hani student, before and after the relaxation of the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control. They each and together experienced the plight of the times behind the daily trivialities of the world of their peers and the adult world. Liu Yifan, a Yao student, was wild and rebellious. As a classmate, Yang Yankai, a classmate from the Hani ethnic group, likes to interview and wants to be a reporter. In their parallel lives, the two intersect during interviews. In their respective observations, they observe the adult world and the world of their peers together, and talk about their growth. Although the flame of youth can burn fiercely, loneliness and isolation are the normal conditions for children in the Sino-Vietnamese border area. Even in such a difficult environment, some children can still grow up strong, have strong will and tenacious vitality, and can find the meaning and value of life in difficulties. The stories of different children will continue to compare and contrast now and in the future, making people feel the preciousness of life and the importance of courage.


Director biography

Xiao Hu, a young photographer and independent documentary filmmaker, has spent nearly a decade working and living on the border between northwest and southwest China since graduating from university. In addition to working for institutional or public welfare organizations, he has long been committed to independent field investigations in his spare time. His photo series "The Road in a Foreign Land: Seeking Yao" was shortlisted for the 4th China Ethnic Image Documentary Biennial Exhibition; "Southern Xinjiang" was shortlisted for the "See You Again 2022" special screening; "Changes in the Yao people" was shortlisted for the 2nd Ethnic Film and TV and Ethnographic Works Collection; "Ordinary Corner" was shortlisted for the 4th Korea International Ethnographic Film Festival, the 5th station screening and dialogue of Langya Images, the 2022 WAFF Youth Filmmaker Program, and the 2022 Guangxi Ethnic Image Exhibition; "From Old to Young" was shortlisted for the 35th China Golden Rooster Awards, the 3rd Huawei New Image Mobile Film Project, the Optics Valley WH Youth Image Exhibition, and the 13th Macau International Microfilm Festival in 2023; "Philosopher in the Mountains" was shortlisted for the 3rd Asian International Youth Film Festival in 2023, the 13th "Chronicle of Light and Shadow" China Documentary Academy Awards, and the inaugural Ideal Country Art Film Festival in 2024; "Childhood is Burning" was selected for the Tokyo Rairai Yamagata 2023 Art Festival - screening session, and the 13th "Chronicle of Light and Shadow" China Documentary Academy Awards. Documentaries such as "Southern Xinjiang", "Ordinary Corner", "From Old to Young", "Philosopher in the Mountain", and "Childhood is Burning" have been included in the Chinese independent film streaming platform CathayPlay, and have also been permanently collected by the Anthropological Image Library of Renmin University of China.