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The Birth of a Documentary: The Pre-History or Tale of Bumming in Beijing

CUI Weiping


Considering Bumming in Beijing as a living work, what the film absorbed and released were the energies formed in the years of ideological emancipation and social transformation after 1978. Among these energies were social factors such as unofficial publishing, grassroot communities, and social mobility, and numerous fields of literature and art, such as avant-garde poetry, reportage, experimental theatre, avant-garde art, folk images, and modern dance, which was still in its infancy. What grew in the film, and what it passed on, was a long, undulating chain of history with no end in sight.