Release year: 2007
Run time: 11 mins
Film type: Documentary
Tiananmen Square has stood as a symbol of Chinese politics for centuries, particularly gaining prominence after 1949, becoming the very heart of China's political landscape. "Up & Down" narrates the story of a street and a square nestled in the core of China. On the surface, Changan Road stretches, flanked by towering structures representing the epicenters of politics, authority, finance, trade, business, and entertainment. Underneath, Subway Line 1 crisscrosses - the essential lifeline of transportation, a bustling yet somber "main artery." Tiananmen Square is both a magnet for tourists and a bastion of control, hosting significant political ceremonies and witnessing the daily raising and lowering of the national flag. A spectacle unfolds during these moments, as multitudes gather to sing the national anthem, standing witness as the flag gradually descends, concluding the ceremony. The ritual of observing the national flag's rise and fall has evolved into a captivating phenomenon, becoming a vital facet of patriotic and political education. It remains intriguing how a ceremony so simple, yet laden with meaning, captivates the masses. Changan Road remains an ever-changing stage, reflecting shifting perspectives and dynamics. Just as the national flag marks its ascent and descent each day on the square, life follows its pattern of ups and downs. Such is the rhythm of existence.
Wang Wo (王我) was born in Hebei Province, and is currently living in USA. He studied graphic design at the Central Academy of Arts and Design, and received an MA in Arts and Design from Tsinghua University. He began making films in 2004, establishing himself as one the innovative of the independent documentary filmmakers. His experimental documentaries include Outside (2005), Noise (2007), Zhe Teng: According to China (2010), The Dialogue (2014) and A Filmless Festival (2015). Along with his filmmaking, Wang established himself as an artist and graphic designer. His powerful posters for the Beijing Independent Film Festival are admired the world around.