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In the Military Training Camp

Wen Hai

Release year: 2002

Run time: 78 min

Film type: Documentary


In August 2002, students from a military training base in Hebei Province and a middle school in Langfang were undergoing military training. This film records their life and mental state in the military camp. The young heroes are between 11 and 16 years old, and most of them are only children. The fully-enclosed military camp is special to them; so many of the characteristics of this generation are manifested in this special time and space. They are strong, fragile, honest, and wicked, exploring interpersonal relationships, moral concepts, ideology and states of mind. The military camp epitomises contemporary Chinese society and this generation of young Chinese.


Director biography

Wen Hai studied at the Beijing Film Academy and has since 2001 been active as an independent film director. Among his best known films are Floating Dust (2004), which won the Prix Georges Beauregard at the 16th Festival International du Documentaire in Marseille in 2005; Dream Walking (2006), awarded the Grand Prize at the 2006 Cinéma du Réel; and the film We, which won the Horizons Special Mention award at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival. Wen Hai also worked as a camera man on WangBing's film Three Sisters (2012). His 2016 book The Gaze of Exile: Witnessing Chinese Independent Documentary Films (放逐的凝视——见证中国独立纪录片)is published in Taipei by Tendency.