Dugong Films, Cronos Film
Italy / China
colour & b/w
In August 2014 the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival, after repeated threats from local
authorities, was shut down. The Government couldn’t tolerate the screening of some ‘sensitive’
work, particularly a historical documentary called “Spark”.
The news shook filmmakers and public opinion alike; a quest in search for the man whose work had pushed the Government to such an extreme gesture was necessary.
‘The Observer’ is the portrait of the extraordinary and undetected work of a Chinese dissident artist, Hu Jie.
A self-thought filmmaker animated by stunning perseverance, throughout his career, he has managed to make more than 30 documentaries which content is vital to understand Chinese society and to preserve memory of its past; he is the first artist who dared talking about the Great Famine, the labor camps and the Cultural Revolution in an uncompromised way.
Blacklisted and put under special surveillance, Hu Jie kept filming till very recent years, putting everything he had at stake. Only lately, as pressure has tighten on him to an impossible extent, he had to give up and return to his first, more private passion: painting.
His desire to tell stories is still very alive, as much as the silence that has been imposed on him. A silence that hopefully this film can break.