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Movie Monday: The Transition Period — looking inside a Chinese county government

Investigative filmmaker Zhou Hao takes his camera inside a county government in Henan province in this revealing documentary following the life and work of a Chinese Communist Party secretary. The Transition Period won Best Feature at the China Documentary Film Festival, and was an official selection at festivals in Rome, Iberia and Guangzhou.

As described by dGenerate Films:

As Chinese Communist Party secretary, Guo Yongchang was the most powerful man in his county, located in the rural inland province of Henan. Guo invited acclaimed documentary filmmaker Zhou Hao to record his final months in office. Through Zhou’s lens, we see Guo work tirelessly to achieve his greatest desire: for Henan to match the affluence of booming coastal areas. Zhou also captures the sordid details of local-level politics in pursuit of growth: lavish parties with foreign investors, threats to local workers protesting unpaid wages, and offers of bribes and kickbacks.

Hailed by international press as an exceptional work of investigative filmmaking, The Transition Period captures the daily life of a Chinese official with incredible ground-level detail. With boastfully candid interviews from Guo and fly-on-the-wall coverage of closed-door dealings, Zhou lays bare the unsavory dynamics within China’s top-down power structures. Penetrating in scope yet objective in its approach, The Transition Period reveals the conflicting forces shaping China’s path to prosperity.

The Transition Period

Mandarin with English subtitles

Run time: 114 minutes

Monday, September 7, 8 pm

20 RMB

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