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Xu Tong

Release year: 2011

Run time: 100 min

Film type: Documentary


Tang Xixin is a retired railway official who has lost little of his outspoken character at the age of 80. He does not like to receive his adult children in his ramshackle home, but he makes an exception for his daughter Caifeng. She runs a brothel and is involved in equally illegal mining practices; in other words, a woman of the world who energetically evades the long arm of the law. Old Tang, with his flood of words, is an ideal witness to the twentieth century; his daughter is a colourful symbol of the new China, even though in the eyes of the state she is undoubtedly far from a role model. Xu Tong’s intimate, occasionally raw style of filming fits his subject matter well.


Director biography

Xu Tong was born in 1965 in Beijing, and majored in news photography at the Communications University of China. He describes himself as a vagabond filmmaker, as his filmmaking focuses on those who live on the margins of the society, often outside the law, in northern China. He uses his camera to express sympathy and even empathy with the marginality and defiant nonconformity of many of his subjects.