Change of Choice


  • Chen Ling
  • China
  • 2005
  • 53 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary, China Transit
With its 5,000 souls, the village of Zhai Cheng has a total of five more or less paved roads. In the past, this farming community cultivated the wrong crops and since then most inhabitants have trouble staying above the poverty line. Illiteracy is the norm, and the villagers have not managed to keep abreast of modern agricultural techniques. This may change if party secretary Mi Jin Shui manages to get villagers to set up a pepper co-op. With the help of capable volunteers, he energetically launches a publicity campaign. Unfortunately, inadequate communication throws a spanner in the works. In the western part of the large village, the sole loudspeaker reaches only part of the local population, impeding the foundation of the co-op. When the first board members are to be elected, the farmers, often still living together in family clans, feel they are not being represented proportionally. While the differences of opinion between family clans and between men and women continue to rise, the voice-over, completely devoid of irony, comments on the badly needed attempts by a small community to improve its situation.


  • 53 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: Chinese
  • Subtitles in: English
Chen Ling
Hou Yimin, Chen Ling
Tang Teng, Chen Ling, Han Zhen
Zhuang Weisong, Chen Zhiping
Chen Rui

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
China Transit

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IDFA history

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