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Beijing Spring

by Andy Cohen, Gaylen Ross
USA 2021, 100′
Presented at the 14th edition of Lo schermo dell’arte, 2021 – Italian premiere
FILMING: Julien Roby, Robert Richman, Matt Yue, Eddie Marritz, Hagger, Mitch Blummer, Gregory Brutus
EDITING: Andrew Ford
SOUND: Edward O’Connor, Han Zhichao, Peter Ginsburg, Vincent Rouffiac, XIang Chen, Peter Miller
LANGUAGE: vo: Mandarin; sub: Italian, English
MUSIC: Matt Clifford, Damian Lazarus, Zhou Yunpeng
PRODUCERS: Andy Cohen, Gaylen Ross, Constance Le Maré
Interviews and archival materials that escaped the Chinese censorship in the last forty years tell the history of The Stars group of artists, formed in Beijing in the late 70s, during what became known as the Beijing Spring. Their words are intertwined with Chinese history from 1966 to the Eighties: the rise of Mao Tsé-Tung, the failure of the Cultural Revolution and the regime of censorship and surveillance. The Beijing Spring began with the death of Mao, when the artists posted a series of texts and posters denouncing crimes committed by the Red Guards on the so-called Democracy Wall, near Tiananmen Square. Thanks to the initiative of Ma Desheng and Huang Rui, The Stars group was born which came to involve about fifteen painters and sculptors, including the young Ai Weiwei, and gained attention for having organized an independent exhibition exhibited outside the Beijing National Gallery. Through the use of unpublished 16mm films shot by filmmaker Chi Xiaoning, directors Andy Cohen and Gaylen Ross tell how art and literature have played a central role in affirming freedom of expression at a difficult moment in Chinese history.
ANDY COHEN He is an independent filmmaker and journalist. He has produced and directed documentaries that have won numerous awards. He has participated in festivals, including: Venice Film Festival; Toronto International Film Festival; Sundance; Berlinale.
Selected Filmography
2019 Ximei 2017 Human Flow 2016 Hooligan Sparrow 2012 Never Sorry; The World Before Her