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Institute for Sinology

“Crossing China”

München, 05/19/2014

The Chinese Film Festival in Munich opens its second season this week. Last year’s Festival focused on the martial-arts genre. This time, the Institute for Sinology at LMU, in cooperation with the Confucius Institute, invites cinema buffs to explore the diversity of the current film scene in China.

Aus dem Film "Feuerwerk am helllichten Tage" (Copyright: Weltkino Filmverleih)
(Copyright: Weltkino Filmverleih)

One of the highlights of this year’s program is the feature that won the Golden Bear for the best film at the 2014 Berlinale, “Black Coal, Thin Ice”, which will be shown in Munich before it goes on general release in Germany. The film is a cross between classical whodunit and film noir, is set in North China, and follows the efforts of Inspector Zhang to solve a particularly complicated murder case. “The Festival offers a very diverse bill of fare, and includes films like ‘So Young’, ‘American Dreams in China’ and ‘Finding Mr. Right’, which have been very successful in China but have failed to find a German distributor, and would be very difficult to find anywhere in Europe other than in the context of a festival,” says Anna Stecher of LMU’s Institute for Sinology. From 21.-25. May, works by independent Chinese film-makers, such as “Burned Wings”, as well as films that have previously been on release in Germany, including “A Touch of Sin” will also be shown in the Monopol cinema. The Festival’s motto, “Crossing China”, neatly expresses the leitmotif that guided the organizers in selecting the films on the program. “The image of China that comes across in the German media is a very partial one, as several studies have confirmed. With Crossing China as our motto, and the wide range of films we present, we wanted to give the public a glimpse of the diversity of the country,” says Stecher.

Discussions with film specialists and experts on China provide a wider context for the films on the program. In contrast to the case last year, the organizers have scheduled these events to coincide with the film showings. “On the Friday there will be a round-table discussion in the Kinobar at the Monopol, and we will be on hand to engage in discussions with members of the public in an informal, relaxed atmosphere before and after each film,” says Stecher. “By the way”, she adds, “the whole idea of a Chinese Film Festival goes back to the initiative of a single Master’s candidate at the Institute, and this year’s edition too owes a great deal to the hard work and commitment of our students.”

For further information on “Crossing China”, see: http://chinafilmtage.com