Home > Chinese Movies > Street Life - Living On Nanjing Road 南京路 Chinese Movie (w/Eng Subs)
[C-Movie] Street Life - Living On Nanjing Road 南京路 (2006)
Street Life documents the lives of Chinese migrants in Shanghai, one of the world’s largest and most vibrant cities, now symbolic of China’s economic might. The film centers on Nanjing Road, one of China’s oldest commercial streets and today a popular destination for tourists and moneyed Chinese. The street has also become a Mecca for uprooted and homeless Chinese, who make ends by collecting garbage and recyclables. These characters and their stories are the focus of the film.
The central character in Street Life is a migrant known as “Black Skin.” Black Skin faces numerous pressures in the course of the film, including police violence. In the end, these pressures are too much for him to bear and he goes mad. Black Skin’s story intersects with those of fellow bottle collectors, enterprising thieves and even a young boy who has been abandoned.
Street Life ends with a scene of Black Skin’s madness. He dances wildly through the crowds of Nanjing Road and in the doorways of luxury shopping centers. Despite his raucous performance, Black Skin remains largely invisible to the respectable crowd. The façade of China’s commercial capital is unmoved. Black Skin is forgotten and invisible. His raw humanity is absorbed in the surrounding buildings, in the malls and larger-than-life advertisements.
When he reaches a large plaza where an animation of China’s classic story of the Monkey King plays on a gigantic plasma screen, Black Skin choreographs his spontaneous dance against a dramatic scene in which Monkey says ominously: “This is the price you pay for defying me. Let me show you what I can do . . .”
Zhao Dayong arrived in Shanghai in 2004 and began documenting the daily lives of itinerant Chinese using digital video. He saw their stories as overlooked portraits of the deep social impact of rapid economic growth.
During the filming process, Zhao opted for bolder and more exaggerated compositions in order to bring out and emphasize the relationship between the city streets and the people. He did all of his filming without the aid of a tripod, hoping to reflect the unsettled and agitated nature of the city, and to give the film a more raw and unmediated feel
Title: Street Life - Living On Nanjing Road Also Known As: 南京路 / Nanjing lu Country: China Language: Mandarin Subtitle: English, Chinese Year: 2006 Genre: Documentary
Director: Zha Da Yong Writer: n/a Producer: n/a
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