Lixin Bao

Ailleurs - Film - 2010

présenté dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 12


In December 2005, the last Chinese steam locomotive retired at the Daban depot of the Jitong railway company (Inner Mongolia, China). The theme of this documentary arose from meetings and experiences with the railway employees in China. They devoted their lives to the railways. The locomotive, itself, is a metaphor for the labour of these men. Beyond a historical documentary, I am above all interested in human relationships. My film enables the memories of the employees to live on through nostalgic interviews. Different time scales give the pace. My own memories are mixed with theirs. Can memories be an alternative to the present? The expansion of the Jitong company is telling of the development of China. One can question the repercussions of this development. Ironic questions are hidden in the nostalgia of a former era; indeed, now they are conscious of their past exploitation. I just intended to tell their story, but in a moment ripe for dialogue, our team was able to participate in an interview. This exchange revealed a social problem. The line between the film crew and the people filmed no longer exists when social problems are evoked. In parallel to the Chinese economic development in the last thirty years, a feeling of opposition is growing stronger in a society ruled by money.

Lixin Bao


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing