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Wang Keqin: Reporter

Hu Jie

Release year: 2005

Run time: 40 mins

Film type: Documentary

Synopsis

Wang Keqin was a reporter who dared to expose corrupt officialdom. Because his articles directly exposed stock market corruption and local government brutality to the public, people threatened to pay 500,000 yuan for his head. This attracted the attention of Premier Zhu Rongji. Wang was instructed to employ protection.

This film documents Wang Keqin's interview experience in Min County, Gansu Province. Wang Keqin once wrote reports about officials oppressing the people there, which received widespread attention, so the cadres were brought to justice. The general public increased their legal awareness as a result of this incident, which also resulted in challenges to township governance. In the days that followed, the farmers who defended their rights continued to experience retaliation from the village cadres, and they kept calling Wang Keqin about their experiences.

After a long day trip by car from Lanzhou, Wang Keqin arrives at dusk in a mountain village in Baozi Township, Min County. The people know that he is coming, and they are as happy as if they were celebrating a festival. In the evening, the villagers take him to another village. Under a small oil lamp, the villagers who tell him about their grievances and experiences all night long. The next morning, Wang Keqin goes to visit the villagers he knows. But at this time, after hearing the news of his arrival, the leading cadres of the county and township also appear. They invite Wang Keqin to a hut for a discussion. The people in the village are afraid that Wang Keqin will be hurt, so they sit quietly around the hut.

Later, the cadres accompany Wang Keqin to several mountain villages for interviews. Because of the cadres' presence, the villagers dare not follow anymore.

 

Director biography

Hu Jie is an independent historian, artist, and filmmaker. Born in Jinan, Shandong in 1958, he graduated from the Art College of the People’s Liberation Army. He works in oils and woodcuts from his lakeside studio in Nanjing. His films are among the most important documents of China’s unacknowledged “unoffcial history”, and include Looking for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005), about a martyr-poet critic of Mao; and Though I Am Gone (2007), about an elite Beijing girls’ high school whose students murdered their headmaster at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.