|East Coast Premiere|
|Crew: ||Producers: Tong Jiage - Screenwriters: Tong Jiage |
Wang Shun is an seventy-year-old single man, who lives for collecting scraps in a backward village, and nobody cares about him. After Wang Shun's old dog died, Wang Shun plans to spends all of his saving to hold a funeral for himself in advance, the funeral for a living man makes Wang Shun became a celebrity in his village.
Jiage Tong is a female director and scriptwriter from China. She finished a
literature degree in Shanghai Theater Academy, and her working covers
film, TV Shows and theater.
During she studied in City College of New York, she concentrates on film
making, hopes to bring great films those can expose the human nature.
Five years ago, I went to my grandmaís hometown together with her and chatted
with some aged people. I discovered that they especially wanted to have a great
funeral. When describing the wish in relevant with death, each of them carried smiles
and eagerness without any fear, which gave me strong desire to create. Therefore, I
began to compose my play SEVENTY.
Funeral has significant meaning to those older generations in China and
6inhumation means getting home and the chances to come again. Moreover, the
name on the tombstone and a great funeral leave some evidence of their existence to
their obscure life. Nearly everyone thinks that the old people want to enjoy their
twilight years and long for a quiet life. However, as a matter of fact, they deeply
desire for reputation and the sense of being. WANG SHUN in SEVENTY is a man of
this kind. Even though he knows that government plans to promulgate a new
regulation about cremation prior to burial, he still stubbornly insists to give himself a great funeral to get the chance of getting back to the root before the implementation
of the policy. Once someone asked me whether WANG SHUN is a comedic
character that is worthy of satirizing in China. However, this is not the case. WANG
SHUN is not a comedic character that is worthy of satirizing no matter where he is.
Everyone has the right to pursue to reputation, so it is really worthwhile for me to
record this kind of brave behavior of an old man.
It took me four years to finish SEVENTY. During this period, I went to villages
of different styles to collect stories of various old people. I lived with them and many
of them were nearly one hundred years old. Although they carried some smell of
rotten viscera with themselves, they were still positive when talking about death,
which made me have a more objective and new understanding of death in my
Finishing SEVENTY is the greatest challenge I once met in my life. During the
location search, because of the special theme, I was refused to photograph by many
regions. I walked around nearly 20 villages and finally decided the shooting place.
This is a extremely poor and backward village. The annual income of a whole family
is less than $ 200 and the young all go out to work in the city, leaving the old and
some defective children as if they have been left in this remote corner by the world.
Everything from people to animals in this village is pure and beautiful. Even thought
it was minus 8 Fahrenheit, the villagers tried their best to help with our shoot. Apart
from the actor, WANG SHUN, all actors are from this village. Because they had no
experience on performing, it took a long time in the initial communication stage.
However, they were natural without any decoration, which achieved an unexpected
effect. During the break time, the villagers often helped us cook and keep warm. I
deeply remembered that a child with intelligence problem in the village acted as a
child who was one of the onlookers of WANG SHUNís funeral in the tail leader of
the film. I noticed him the first time when I got there and he often looked at us at the
corner silently, without smiles or cries. However, he had pure and limpid eyes and
said nothing and looked at me silently when I talked with him. When I
communicated with his grandpa about asking him to participate in the performance, I
got that he had some intelligent problems. Even so, I still tried to make him a part. At
the very beginning, it was difficult as he didnít understand what we were talking
about. Later AD made fun of him at the back of the camera and he gave some
response. Therefore, when all old people in the village came to tease him and the
wandering animals all came to watch, the child smiled. The old said that the child
had never smiled like this and the silent and quiet village seemed to become more
Minus 8 Fahrenheit was a great challenge to the staff in the crew. Because there
were many outdoor scenes and the wind in the village was heavy, the fine art group
needed to guarantee the correct position of each stage property. Moreover, before
shooting the panorama, they needed to splash snows on the buildings and ground
with snow clearer again and again so as to keep the continuity of camera lens. In
some overhead shots, DP shot on the Crane. However, when there was thick snow on
the ground and frozen earth under the snow which had lasted for five months, it was
really difficult for the Crane to be planted into the ground. Therefore, several hours
ahead of shooting, we must melt the ground one layer by another with hot water and
then planted the Crane into the ground. After it was frozen,we began to shoot and
then took it out after shooting in the same way. I am really glad that 40 people of my
crew all tried their best to help me during that period to finish my work. Even the 72-
year-old actor who was afraid of coldness succeeded in this.
The day when we left after finishing shooting, the villagers and the wandering
animals all came to see us off. I know that after we leave, the village will be as lonely
For this reason, I sincerely dedicate this film to those who are lonely and brave.