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New Castle

Guo Hengqi

Release year: 2010

Run time: 112 mins

Film type: Documentary


New Castle is a remote rural village where houses and mountains have been distorted due to excessive mining. Under the “New Village”campaign, all the villagers will be moved into the nearly completed Luxury Buildings. The documentary depicts the life of two groups of people, miners and villagers. The miners who are from all over the country, lost their jobs because of the Olympic Games in Beijing – the mine was shut down to make the air less polluted. The villagers had no better luck. Granny Fan lost two sons and two grandsons in a mining accident. Old Han and Old Wang are still farming. Some youngsters are gambling in the house of Han Bin, who was crippled in another mining accident. In the film, you can also see the village election, the service of local Christians, and people worshiping for a better year to come.


Director biography

Guo Hengqi was born in 1979, in Shanxi, China. In 2007, he joined the post-production team of AI Weiwei’s documentary Fairytale as an assistant editor. In December 2007, he worked as the editor of Wang Bing’s Crude Oil, and he edited Zhang Chi’s drama Ubu Roi in January 2008. Between February 2008 and August 2010, he shot his own documentary, New Castle, which was later awarded Best Documentary at Busan International Film Festival 2010, and selected by Cinéma du Réel, Hot Docs, Yunnan Multi-Culture Visual Festival and Taipei Film Festival in 2011.