The Chinese Mayor

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China | 2015 | 86 minutes | Hao Zhou

Mayor Geng Yanbo is committed to returning his crumbling city to its former glory by transforming it into a showcase for clean energy and world-class tourism. But there are two problems: Datong is China’s most polluted city, and he’ll have to relocate 500,000 homes to pull it off. Producer Qi Zhao scheduled to attend.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

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Geng Yanbo is the mayor of Datong, the once-flourishing capital of Imperial China, whose failing coal mining industry has left it with few economic prospects and only one claim to fame: being the most polluted city in China. However, Geng has an audacious plan to revitalize his crumbling city by transforming it into a tourist destination, with a world-class cultural center and a showcase for clean energy. But in order to do that, he’ll have to relocate 500,000 homes to make room for the restoration of the ancient city. Geng gives director Zhou Hao an unprecedented amount of access to this process, and Zhou takes full advantage of it, racing alongside the mayor as he calms protesters, chastises corrupt contractors, and fends off his wife’s increasing complaints about his workaholic ways. Shot in a breathless veritè style, The Chinese Mayor captures China’s hurtling rush toward modernism, while managing to be both small in scale and immense in scope; simultaneously an intimate character study and a panoramic glimpse of the challenges inherent in trying to navigate the deep divide between local Chinese politics and the party elite.

Director Biography
Zhou Hao was born in 1968 in China. He previously worked as a photographer at Xinhua News Agency and Southern Weekend. He started making documentary films in 2001 and has won several awards.

Sponsored by KPLU, Delta Air Lines, Aegis Gardens

  • Original Language Title: Datong
  • Director: Hao Zhou
  • Principal Cast: Yanbo Geng, Hui Zheng, Suyin Ma
  • Country: China
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 86 minutes
  • Producer: Qi Zhao
  • Screenplay: Qi Zhao, Hao Zhou
  • Cinematographers: Tianhui Zhang, Hao Zhou
  • Editors: Tom Hsingming Lin, Xiaochuan Yu
  • Music: Jing Xiao
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2015 (Special Jury Prize)
  • Filmography: Cotton (Doc, 2014), Emergency Room China (Doc, 2013), The Transition Period (Doc, 2009), Using (Doc, 2008) Senior Year (Doc, 2006)
  • Language: Chinese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP