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First film records how ‘cliff village’ goes out of poverty

(People's Daily Online)    14:45, February 12, 2018

“Beyond the Mountains” was recently screened as the first documentary film reflecting the hard and bitter process of resettling and shaking off poverty in rural China, People’s Daily reported on Feb. 11.

Daqi Village, one of 2,760 extremely poor villages in southwest China’s Guizhou province, is situated on top of a mountain with no connecting road to the outside. Lack of access to transportation once brought inconvenience to local villagers and hindered poverty alleviation efforts, but as of October 2017, a total of 400 villagers have resettled in urban area and 456 have shaken off poverty.

From 2016 to the end of 2017, Jiao Bo, a well-known photographer and director, recorded the problems and progress on the way of shaking off poverty in the village. In the film, the young generation expressed their demand for easier access to roads, medical service, better education, and jobs, while the elder were reluctant to leave a place they have called home for decades. With official support for poverty alleviation, a village cadre is determined to lead their fellow villagers to a well-off society against whatever obstacles. Finally, more than two decades’ efforts have paid off, and a large number of villagers have gone beyond the mountains to lead a happy life at their new residence.

Out of more than 4,000 hours of raw video material, the director filtered an unvarnished and affectionate portrayal of the lives of the villagers and the village cadre in a remote mountain village. No one in the film is a professional actor and every frame is a real record of how they strived to leave the mountains and poverty.

“Beyond the Mountains” is the first documentary on the theme of alleviating poverty by resettling residents from rural to urban areas. The director Jiao Bo is well-known for his photographs and video footage of his parents that provide insight into the lives of two elderly people in the Chinese countryside.

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(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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