Self-Portrait: 47 KM 2020

CHINA / 2023 / Chinese (Hubei Dialect) / Color / DCP / 190 min

- Director, Photography, Editing, Sound, Producer: Zhang Mengqi
Production Company: Caochangdi Workstation
Source: Zhang Mengqi

The latest in a series of films that take place in the hometown of the director’s father; a village called “47KM” in a mountainous region of China. In 2020, farm work continues in the village throughout the four seasons as it does each year, despite the onset of the pandemic. The director gathers with villagers young and old to do gymnastics and watch movies in the “Blue House,” completed in the last film in the series. The adults and children are busy with their daily lives despite rumours that reach them of the infectious disease. Everyone faces the lens genially, and the director and the camera feel like members of the community. The tenth film in the 47KM series, and part of the Folk Memory Project to collect and document first-hand experiences of the Great Famine. (KH)

[Director’s Statement] In 2020, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 swept the globe with panic and death, keeping the whole world hostage in fear and isolation. 220 kilometers from Wuhan, China, villagers in 47KM lived through the turmoil guided by ancestral prophecies and their lifestyle, continuing their ordinary existence in those extraordinary times.

- Zhang Mengqi

Born in 1987. Filmmaker and choreographer, member of the Folk Memory Project. Has created eleven documentaries, her “Self-Portrait” series. Her films have been selected by YIDFF, Cinéma du Réel, Visions du Réel, among other festivals. Her films have received awards at DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Punto de Vista and FICIC.