Luo Luo’s Youth

CHINA / 2023 / Chinese (Sichuan Dialect) / Color, B&W / Digital File / 93 min

- Director, Photography: Luo Luo
Editing: Li Xinyue, Luo Luo
Production Company: Caochangdi Workstation
Source: Luo Luo

Luo Luo revisits diary entries and photographs from her teenage years while looking after her father and grandchild. The camera never leaves her house, but Luo Luo goes online to connect with Wu Wenguang, and Zhang Mengqi and her friends from the Folk Memory Project, her fingertips tracing the journey to visit them on a map. What will happen when she hands the camera to her father and grandchild? She pulls them in while she finishes up the housework, filming everything like a diary. This family, which had been cowering at home in fear of COVID-19, begins to overflow with love for one another and the joy of expression. (OM)

[Director’s Statement] There is a lingering voice in my heart that tells me it is impossible for a person to have eternal youth and personal miracles— but after a serendipitous encounter with a group that seemed to have taken me decades to wait to meet and find, only then was the power and strength of youth, miracles, and inner spirit in me rejuvenated. Otherwise, the diary I kept and the photos I took more than forty years ago would have still been well kept, but they may have been quietly shelved for a lifetime.

My “youth” was extended in 2019 because that is when I met the mentors and cohorts of Caochangdi Workstation, where I worked with those older than me like Wu Wenguang and Shao Yuzhen, and those younger than me like Zhang Mengqi, Li Xinyue, Yu Shuang, and Zhang Dun.

The use of the word youth is not only to describe the search for and the recalling of “Luo Luo’s” youth, but also about how youth happens when it is in progress.

- Luo Luo

Full name: Luo, Ziyue. Born 1962 in Miyi County, Sichuan Province, where she has spent her entire life. Like most women of her age group, Luo Luo followed the course of getting married, giving birth, working, rearing children, taking care of elderly parents, and retiring from the workforce. In 2019, Luo Luo learned about Caochangdi Workstation and joined its Folk Memory Project. She began learning to film and edit footage at the beginning of 2020, and from there created her debut film Luo Luo’s Fear (2020, YIDFF 2021).