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Karst Elegies

Shen Jie

Release year: 2013

Run time: 62 mins

Film type: Documentary


Under the gaze of the misty karst mountain, life in the homeland wheezes and stares right into the scars and haggardness of the terrain. For the few remaining elders, their images and lives have been reduced to a spiritual secretion in a dark corner of the land. I therefore offer this auspicious day to my land’s death—on a piece of acquired land, I torched down a tree that was destined to be cut down and buried. This is my ritual to summon up the free spirit of natural civilization. On the top of a hill, I set fire to a trotter and a rubber shoe found in the mountain. They’d been hung on a honey locust tree as offerings. This is my ceremony to bury all the spells, monsters, and invisible strings that imprison the life of my land in self-enslavement.


Director biography

Shen Jie, a graduate of Guizhou University, is a member of the editorial board of Film Auteur and has been making documentaries since 2010. His works have been exhibited at Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver International Documentary Film Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, French New Caledonia International Documentary Film Festival, Beijing Independent Film Festival, China Independent Film Festival, West Lake International Documentary Film Festival, and won the Jury Prize at the London Chinese Video Festival, the Golden Lotus Award for Best Documentary, and the Special Jury Prize at the Phoenix Video Documentary Conference. They have been awarded Top Ten of the China Independent Film Festival and Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Film Festival and third place at the Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Film Festival.