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Chung Kuo China

(Chung Kuo Cina)

Imported Print

“One of Antonioni’s most important works, largely unseen (because undistributed) but nevertheless famous for the circumstances of its filming, for the Chinese government’s virulent attack on Antonioni after its release [seven years later, he received an official apology], and for Umberto Eco’s article that offered a semiotic explanation of why the Chinese found it so insulting. Invited by the Chinese government to make a documentary about their country (which was in the throes of Mao’s Cultural Revolution), Antonioni spent eight weeks shooting with the full cooperation of officials. The result was less a documentary or travelog than a classic Antonionian meditation, focusing on the ‘faces, gestures, habits’ of the people and the textures, spaces, and contours of the urban and rural landscapes. As Sam Rohdie has observed, ‘Chung Kuo Cina is a film about a China seen but not known, observed, but not explained, and that is its wonderful power and its secret happiness.’”

James Quandt
FILM DETAILS 
Cinematographer
  • Luciano Tovoli
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 217 mins
Source
  • Luce Cinecittà
Permission
  • Rai Teche