The Wandering Rock
CHINA / 2019 / Chinese / Color, B&W / Digital File / 93 min
Director, Photography, Editing, Sound, Producer: Cui Zhaosong
Music: Baoqiang, Zhanghong
Source: Cui Zhaosong
Gunmaker, an indie rock singer from China’s Shaanxi province, continues as a solo act after the loss of his bandmate to suicide a year ago. At home, he confronts his religious fanatic mother while struggling to raise his own child as a single parent. Suspected of being anti-establishment, the authorities have even intruded upon his residence. Jolted back and forth between rock and daily life, Gunmaker throws his whole being into his music as he sets off on a solo tour. Restricted speech, the chains of society—he howls against them all as he wanders the darkness, pursuing freedom, and pushing his vocal cords to their edge.
[Director’s Statement] This film is a journey of atonement.
Back when I used to breathe the horribly polluted air of the north, I used to wonder to myself, “Why I am still alive?” I heard a voice crying out from amid the throngs of the comatose. It was the voice of a man in a state of mental derangement. With a guitar as his weapon and lyrics as his bullets, he took fire at all the skillful and clever people. He was just like what I would become a few years later.
In an age of acute absurdity, those that know the truth are conspirators or criminals. Singing is the last means of praise left to the hopeless. The hearts of those who suffer burn as hot as fire.
Ordinary people do not know the voice of Moses. When red winds stir souls bleached white, eternal freedom shines forth from the jet-black darkness. Even though this cursed ground has almost toppled the mountains and rivers, I am happy, because the angel has sounded his trumpet, welcoming in that Wandering Rock.
Born April 22, 1988 in a small village in Shangdong, Cui is a producer, director, cinematographer, and editor of independent documentaries. From a young age he had a passion for cinema. After graduating from college, he began to reject autocracy both at home and in society. By recording those at the margins and the bottom rungs of society in the documentary form, he attempts to express the China that he knows personally, bearing little resemblance to the one of government propaganda. In 2016, Cui completed the independent documentary Shuang Jing. The Wandering Rock was completed in March 2019.