In Chinese culture, the expression “electric shadows” (“dian ying”) refers to the art of film. Today the electricity of those first projectors that allowed Chinese people to take delight in films has largely been substituted by the digital media with which a generation of new moviemakers is leaving a testimony of their country’s changing society. In recent years, independent Chinese cinema has experienced rapid development with the shift from stills to bytes. Digital media permit directors to take more chances, to be more daring, to explore hybrid documentary/fiction formats and combine images shot by themselves with others, reused and re-contextualised. Rather than mere nostalgia or simple social protest, the titles brought together in this retrospective show us some of the more unusual angles of Chinese reality thanks to plural points of view and varied approaches.
This cycle of 20 movies, filmed digitally from 2000-2010 by some of the most interesting Chinese filmmakers to have made their appearance in the last decade, was part of the 59th edition of San Sebastian Film Festival.
The cycle was co-organised by San Sebastian Film Festival and San Telmo Museum and enjoys the collaboration of the Filmoteca de Catalunya.
—San Sebastian Film Festival, 2011