Turn Around*
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Release Year & TMFF Edition:
Shangshan Li
33 minutes
TMFF Awards:
November Nominee - Documentary of the Month


This story seems to be during the process of documenting artist Banpo moving out, the director reveals a huge change of the environment the artist lived in. As if the artist Banpo has foreseen the turmoil of 2020 (as Coronavirus epidemic spreading across the world, a massive demolition began at Songzhuang Art District. Many artists, like Banpo, have left Songzhuang. The small town once was famous for Chinese contemporary art 20 years ago, is now gone.)


*Only a trailer is available for now.


  • I just turned around quietly

    Songzhuang Town is located in Tongzhou District, Beijing, China. In the 1990s, a group of artists who had been dispersed in the Old Summer Palace Art Village fled and came here. At that time, it was a desolate village with muddy roads. The rent and living costs of artists were very high. low. But now, with the continuous intervention of the government and capital, it has become a bustling town. Therefore, the rent and cost of living have doubled, and artists engaged in creation can only choose to leave here. Artist Banpo is one of them.

    The director lived in Songzhuang in 2012. He and the subject artist Banpo have known each other for nearly 10 years. When Banpo told him that he wanted to leave here completely, the director couldn’t help choosing to evacuate the artist Banpo in detail. Recorded it. The director’s shooting style is different from his previous handheld follow-up shooting style. This time the director chose to be extremely calm and even rigorous. The whole story is almost presented with fixed shots one by one. He talked about this method of presentation. One is derived from Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian’s “cold literature” viewing method; the other is that he feels that this fixed-camera method of shooting can better integrate the artist’s heart and his place. Great changes in the environment are revealed. The final effect of the film is indeed the same. It makes us feel the faint sadness in the artist’s heart and the strong power of the government and capital. Therefore, the director seems to be filming the departure of a person, but behind it is revealing the helplessness of reality and the profound changes in society, just like a few lines at the end of the film-“When I turn around, when I turn around, I just gently As soon as I turned around, I just turned around quietly.”

    Therefore, the film “Turn Around” is helpless, sad, touched, and pitiful. It is a true record of the sacrifice and forgotten of a small person in a big environment. Therefore, thanks to the director, I once again see the value of the film and look forward to his next work.

    Reply November 26, 2020
  • But this obviously cannot be achieved

    Hello, friends, Chinese audiences have to “over the wall” (VPN) to vote, but this obviously cannot be achieved.

    Reply November 30, 2020

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