The Chinese Are Coming to Town

Ronja Yu, Sweden, 2010, color, video, 58'
Synopsis

"Feel China, Enjoy Life!" we read on the large advertising signs, adding a slightly surreal touch to the cold, Swedish winter. Kalmar is a small town in the south of Sweden, facing problems of unemployment and a dwindling population, and it could really use an economic boost. In 2006, the local authorities signed an agreement with ambitious Chinese businessman Luo Jingxing, who plans to set up a commercial center in Kalmar. From here, Chinese businesses can conquer the Swedish, and maybe even the European, market. In The Chinese Are Coming to Town, Ronja Yu closely follows the ensuing events. While the inhabitants of Kalmar prepare to receive their new neighbors and while the Chinese construction workers are told by their boss that you don't spit on the ground in Sweden, the real problems are of a very different nature. For example, there's the strict Swedish Health and Safety Inspectorate, which clashes with the Chinese desire to get things done fast. Swedish government representative Johan Persson remains optimistic in spite of it all, but businesswoman Li, who is planning to relocate with her family to Sweden, has her doubts. Will there be enough customers? The harsh reality of this example of globalization unfolds to soft background muzak.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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