(Ci Tong Wo, 刺痛我)
Dir. LIU Jian, 2010
China, 75 min.
Chinese with English subtitles
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – 8:00 PM
Filmmaker LIU Jian in attendance with translation and moderation by ZHOU Xin
THE ANIMATION OF THE REAL: PIERCING I BY LIU JIAN
Animation is often conceived of as a surrealist and fantastical mode of filmmaking. In PIERCING I, Liu Jian presents us with an alternative style, a socialist realist animation that confronts the accelerating speed of the migrating souls and shifting capital of today’s China. Piercing I is a strikingly real and present take on the urban landscapes of this fast-developing nation. The film looks into the struggle of the rural migrants’ city lives, and touches upon such notions as mobility, corruption and social inequalities. The current social and political sensibility in China cannot tolerate a film with these topics, and indeed the Chinese cultural bureau did not grant approval for the film’s commercial release.
Piercing I, which was animated digitally, takes place in the city of Nanjing, where Liu lives and works. Continuing in this autobiographical vein, Liu voices the protagonist, Zhang Xiaojun, a rural transplant who struggles with adjustment to city life and confronts urban culture, juxtaposing the intersection of high and low, rich and poor. This is the first-ever Chinese independent animated feature.