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Raised from Dust

Gan Xiaoer

Release year: 2007

Run time: 100 mins

Film type: Documentary


Some minorities are bigger than others. For instance, there are 80 million Chinese Christians. Many of the themes that Gan Xiao’er documents in a visual and very personal way in his first film, The Only Sons, can also be identified in Raised from Dust. It all comes down to the difficult life of the poor rural population, in which the position of the Christian faith, which plays an increasingly important role in China, is of great importance.

“Aunt” Lam is in the church choir in one of the many small villages on the plains of China. She is rehearsing for a wedding. Her husband is lying in hospital with pneumosilicosis, the most common occupational disease in China, caused by breathing brick dust. An oxygen supply keeps him alive. Their child, the nine-year-old girl Shengyue, has to leave school because she can't afford tuition fees. That is the way life is, without any prospect of improvement. Interwoven with this we see how Chen Shunjun builds a house on the spot where he hopes the railway will be built.


Director biography

Wang Yunlong joined the military art troupe in the 1950s as an actor and choreographer and participated in the Sino-Vietnamese border war. In the late 1980s, he began to produce documentary films, completing more than 20 works. Among them, Singing Praise , which reflects the transformation of a peasant writer, and To Justify Bu Qinfu , about actors who died in the Cultural Revolution, have been highly critically acclaimed.