The Burrows

  • Sanshou Hu
  • China
  • 2021
  • 101 min
  • World Premiere
  • Envision Competition

It’s an extraordinary opening scene: the view from within a tomb under construction. We see people at work, and others watching—holding mugs of tea, or a child on their lap. Filmmaker Sanshou Hu introduces these people, and himself. In the town where he was born, he and his family are following an age-old tradition by building a tomb for his grandparents.

This carefully composed portrait of a village is mainly built up from several recurring elements. The often wide-framed shots of people at work alternate with idle conversations with the workers covering subjects ranging from the everyday to the highly personal; from memories of Mao to a fantasy about traveling to the moon. In the background we occasionally hear government instructions connected with the outbreak of Covid-19. The filmmaker talks in voiceover about his memories and dreams.

This calm and eloquent portrayal of a China we seldom see is also a meditation on existence itself. The film was made in partnership with the Folk Memory Project, an initiative with the aim of documenting memories of the famine of 1959 to 1961.

Credits

  • 101 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Chinese
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Sanshou Hu
Production
Sanshou Hu
Cinematography
Sanshou Hu
Editing
Sanshou Hu
Screening copy
Sanshou Hu

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